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Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Rooms: From the Region

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Vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz has become known for boundary-shattering exploration through his work with improvisers such as Josh Berman, Keefe Jackson, Jeb Bishop, Rob Mazurek and Mike Reed (who appears on this CD). His own music, though, is as welcoming as it is challenging. Even listeners with relatively conventional tastes can feel at home in Adasiewicz’s aesthetic world.

Adasiewicz’s lush harmonies, roomy echo, unforced attack and expansive, non-linear melodic/chordal structures evoke dreamlike soundscapes both warm and captivating; he exploits his instrument’s percussive nature to coax his listeners to “bob their heads and let the music be social,” as he puts it in the liner notes. Drummer Reed is likewise dexterous but never harsh; he doesn’t “swing the band” (as we used to say) as much as he participates in and enlivens the swing that evolves organically from the interplay among himself, Adasiewicz and bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten.

On an aggressively experimental piece like “Mr. PB,” Adasiewicz’s declamations sound like battling church bells. Ballads such as “Cubane” and Reed’s “I Forgot the Words” alternate between clock-like interplay and sections of free-flowing creation, where beats, notes and rhythmic punctuations dance in three-way counterpoint and then move into realms of stasis. “Is a Bell a Rose,” the closer, probably exemplifies this trio’s musical personality most fully: It’s structured like a series of questions, each segment ending at an upward angle, enlivened by Adasiewicz’s quick-wristed flurries, with a rare arco interlude from Håker Flaten. It ends on yet another question mark, a kind of “To Be Continued,” making us all the more eager to anticipate what’s coming next.

Originally Published