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Joe McPhee, Mikolaj Trzaska, Dominic Duval, Jay Rosen: Magic

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The story goes that Mikolaj Trzaska, a longtime fan of McPhee, sought out Trio X at a performance in Krakow in 2006 to ask if he could play with the group. With that meeting, a plan evolved for a 2007 tour with the support of Not Two Records owner, Marek Winiarski. Trzaska and Trio X together became the group Magic. The two-disc set, Magic, documents the 2007 tour in Poland.

Given the improvisational expertise of McPhee on alto sax, clarinet and pocket trumpet, of Trzaska on alto sax and bass clarinet, Duval on bass, and Jay Rosen on drums, this recording imparts more than anyone could expect. The musicians inspire and interact with one another in exceptionally intricate and subtle ways. The smallest details of the playing fill volumes of space with intelligent musical conversation, no matter whether one, two, three or all four are involved in the improvisation. The instrumental layering is so clear and unique that listening is an extraordinarily fulfilling challenge. There is bubbling and boiling, but absolutely no mayhem.

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