Inner Spire (live 12/19/10)
This captures the same group two days earlier (in Moscow); the mix is better and so is the piano. Here too the music is entirely improvised, and Lapin plays more richly. The opener, also the title track, starts melodically but then Carrier moves into energy music over Lapin’s lush tapestry. It’s very ’70s loft jazz, Albert Ayler/Frank Wright style but on alto, though Carrier’s fat tone in his low
range even suggests a tenor sound at times. The density of Lap- in’s underpinning at times approaches Tyneresque levels, but in a freer, less modal fashion (Lowell Davidson comes to mind occa- sionally), and Lambert punctuates vigorously a la Sunny Murray. To me, for so long immersed in NYC free jazz, this is the prototypi- cal jazz sound, and however familiar the ingredients, when played with the inspired imagination heard here, it’s utterly captivating,carrying me along on its organic flow.
True as it can be how easy a musician involved in public funding can become so prolific, and obviously starting with no point in blaming Carrier for that – real problem is, how much it is difficult usually for a musician sponsoring such projects – the urge to document this relatively new trio is more than comprehensible.
What’s more, the compositions on Inner Spire are so different in mood and substance – Inner Square is a sweet and intense struggle for squeaking horns, lyrical piano chords and drumming barrage, ‘Square away’ is built on piano heavy clusters, tightroped horns and swirling brushes, Tribe a more meditative weaving, with Round Trip perfectly coupling and preparing while climaxing in order to introduce the last, openly meditative Sacred Flow, with almost impressionistic piano statements and more dissonant breaks – that one wonders if, even if being Carrier music more defining that suggesting, it can be correct to put him between two of his most famous partners, Uri Caine, post-modern but straight, and Mat Maneri, less melodically defined but equally committed with stretching sound into space.