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Sub Rosa’s title tune which adds the high-pitched flutter tonguing from Jean-Luc Cappozzo’s trumpet to speedy patterning from the piano is wonderful on its own. But even as a sophisticated brass obbligato confirms that slow-paced ending, it still detracts from the precise interaction Cécile Cappozzo, Grente and Ziemniak have evolved during the four previous selections. Weaving pleasant keyboard flights, somber double-bass strokes and splashing drum expansions into layered sound construction, by midway through “Fragment 2”, the trio has proven that together the members can create decisive cohesion at slow and moderate paces as confidently as at bravado speedy pacing. Furthermore, “Fragment 3” is a rapid expansion of the narrative into spry, sinewy strumming and snapping inventions that swing kinetically and contrapuntally; while “Fragment 4” is a turnaround that enlivens the theme-continuation with woody string plucks, piano key clipping and rebounding drum paradiddles at regularized and restrained motions. It also suggests that in truth there was really no need for the additional quartet tune.
Except for that one misstep, Sub Rosa demonstrates that with the right ideas and performances the hoary Jazz piano trio tradition can still be pursued with power and conviction.
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