A mix of progressive rock and jazz is brought by the trio of bassist Lorenzo Feliciati, drummer Torstein Lofthus and Roy Power, who plays keyboards ranging from clavinet B3 and even throws in tubular bells. Thar are some rich moments with the rhythm creating a clever gallop under the rich keyboard chords on “Brick” and some eerie moods developed on “Boot.” Rich tapestries abound on the thick harmonies of “Slip,” while the rest of the pieces have moog grooves on “Caboose,” bass workouts on “Stone” and drum work on “Saw” all ending in a wild cataclysmic collection of avalanches. Just need a smoke machine, and they’re set for a tour.
Pianist Jamie Saft brings together the legendary bassist Steve Swallow and conversant drummer Bobby Previte for a mix of classy post bop. There is rich thoughtfulness on sophisticated pieces like the glimmering “Ten Nights” and the elegant “Nainsook,” and Swallow adds his bass lines like a painter putting extra brush strokes on water colors as on the panoramic “Little Harbor” and the clever “Henbane” while the team gets rich and bluesy on “Pinkus.” The ringer of the collection is Iggy Pop; yes, that proto-punker comes in with a sandied and grandfatherly deep voice during the plodding “Don’t Lose Yourself,” the pensive “Loneliness Road” and the personal and harrowing “Everyday.” Iggy’s tone is always on key and adds crevices of gravitas to the pieces. Many colors on this mosaic.
Bassist Joe Policastro uses his trio of guitarist Dave Miller and drummer Mikel Avery to give fresh approaches to movie and TV themes. Miller’s guitar creates a stark mood on “Nadia’s Theme” while throwing a bit of Dick Dale going indie on “Having An Average Weekend.” The rhythm team digs into a nice calypso on “Summer Kisses, Winter Tears” with bass and guitar foraying on “Angela (Theme From “Taxi’)” and Policastro going it alone on an aria spotlight of “Hallelujah.” Quirky takes of “Yojimbo” and a Good, Bad and Ugly rendition of “Twin Peaks Theme give the album a bit of a jovial atmosphere.
Pianist Guy Mintus’ trio with Tamir Shmerling/b and Philippe Lemm/dr is a highly communicative group, not your typical “mow, blow and go” trio that just shows off chops. Mintus’ touch is romantic and elegant, caressing the ivories on “Our Journey Together” and giving a Bach-like touch to Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile.” Lemm brings some rich ideas like the military strut on “Mibifnm” and the rapid bopping pulse as they go off to the finish line on “background Music.” Shmerling is luminous on ”Desert Song” and the whole team dances like a wedding circle during “Coban Sirto.” Intelligent without sterility.