Tyshawn Sorey Trio
with Joe Lovano & Bill Frisell
This dream trio gave its first performances in 2021, taking up residency at New York’s Village Vanguard to cast meditative spells built from the highest level of interactivity. The antecedent for the ensemble was the brilliant, long-running unit led by drummer Paul Motian, whose rumbling sense of swing knitted the tuneful yet atmospheric swirl of guitarist Bill Frisell and the probing post-bop sobs and sighs of tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano together, whether assaying original tunes or jazz standards, especially the showtune repertoire.
In general, the material was secondary to the humid tone the trio trafficked in, where crystalline improvisatory lines cut through a gauzy, bumpy sonic environment. Drummer Tyshawn Sorey has clearly absorbed many of Motian’s ideas, but he brings his own sound to this new configuration, precisely conjuring a slow-moving blanket of sound marked by cymbals that swell and sizzle and skittering snare figurations that prod and propel the multi-linear explorations of these two elder statesmen, who have developed a serious telepathic sensibility from decades of collaboration. Of course, the trio can also produce a febrile head of steam, where Sorey’s vast reserves of power unleash surprising spasms and grooves to take the music into different spaces.