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Jeff Johnson Trio: Free

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Bassist Johnson is admired for his work with modern mainstream musicians like pianists Jessica Williams, Hal Galper and Jack Brownlow. Here, in a different milieu, he has produced the quietest far-out album I’ve ever heard. Johnson frees himself for unfettered explorations with soprano and tenor saxophonist Hans Teuber and drummer Billy Mintz. The surfaces of their music are placid. Volume and dynamics levels are generally low; Mintz doesn’t break out a stick during the entire set. Yet the trio draws the listener into blends and layers of expressive free playing that rise out of mutual attentiveness and finely attuned musical reflexes.

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