This really is the Paul Motian Trio 2000 plus one, strictly speaking. For this set of old Broadway ballads and flinty, hard-luck songs, Motian invites two guests to play with his trio-pianist Masabumi Kikuchi and singer Rebecca Martin-but he keeps them totally separated: Neither appears on any track featuring the other. Anyone who knows anything about the two guest musicians can probably imagine how their respective numbers contrast. Kikuchi brings abstraction and a touch of volatility to his tunes (as well as his unfortunate habit of vocalizing through what sounds like a throat wound). Martin’s dreamy-cool vocals hit the melody square in the center and keep the band in a much more put-together, conventional jazz idiom.
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