Putting aside for the moment mention of chamber-jazz weaves, global influences, modal designs, and high-wire improv, what’s the most economical way to describe the performances on Dust? How about suggesting an alternative four-letter album title? Soul, for instance.
After all, that’s the common emotional thread running through these mostly introspective, artfully executed performances—a yearning vocal-like quality that helps account for why even the longest, most multifaceted tracks consistently cohere. Of course, Maneri’s contributions are crucial. In addition to playing viola and a key role during two improvised pieces, he wrote five of the seven compositions included here. His seemingly innate lyricism, previously highlighted in a variety of significant collaborations (Cecil Taylor, Paul Motian, et al.), is often distinguished by such a breathy, reed-like tone that you may sometimes find yourself wondering whether this four-piece ensemble is larger than it is.