dtrcd174.jpg (35233 bytes)

Russ Lossing - Dreamer

DTRCD - 174

Russ Lossing - Piano, Ed Schuller - Bass, Paul Motian - Drums

  1. Hablo
  2. Secret About
  3. Monk's Mood
  4. Vaporetto
  5. Yaqui Poem
  6. Dreamer
  7. Double Mint
  8. Let's Call This
  9. Awake
10. Sleepwalker

Total Time (66:53)

Listen to CD Tracks

     T he classic yet still vital instrumental format of the “jazz piano trio”, consisting of acoustic piano, double bass and drums, is here on “DREAMER”, the canvas upon which Russ Lossing, along with Ed Schuller and Paul Motian, have chosen to express themselves.  This traditional and familiar combination of instruments acts as a perfect foil to elucidate the trio’s strikingly original and beautifully spontaneous contemporary jazz improvisations.  The familiar format acts as a constant reference to highlight the freshness and creativity of their music.

 The compositions are all by Russ except for two by Thelonious Monk and one by Andrew Hill.  They are all quite brief, but very vivid in character, which gives the improvisers a perfect springboard to seamlessly launch their solos and group interplay into motion. The two Monk standards and the obscure but lovely Andrew Hill piece are so personally interpreted that they fit perfectly right next to the original compositions. 

 This trio has a very fresh approach to melody, harmony, rhythm, time and color.  Of course, along the way, there are subtle references to some of the great piano trios of the recent past: Paul Bley, Bill Evans and some early Keith Jarret.  Stylistic touches are hinted at; this is as it should be, because these major innovators have become part of the great historical lineage from which the present emerges.  These vocabularies and their contributions have been totally absorbed and personalized by Russ and his trio. They use their essences, with-out trying to replicate them, to create their own very personal sound and feeling.  In this rather strange musical time we live in, the music industry has encouraged young musicians to duplicate and worship the jazz of the past.  With endless tributes, “theme” projects and market research dictating to the musicians choices of content, it is a rare and welcome event to hear the true expression of these players’ hearts and minds.

 The flow of the music on “Dreamer” is incredible!  Unpredictable and inexorable, there is a satisfying balance of pure soloistic playing combined with unusual and highly creative group interplay.  Russ’s classical piano background has given him great freedom to play what he really hears.  Especially compelling is his wonderfully fluent and amazingly independent left hand, which he often uses to improvise beautiful long counter-lines to his right hand linear ideas.  This is one of Lossing’s most strikingly original and important stylistic signatures.  Also, his very loose and sophisticated conception of time and phrasing allows him the freedom to let his ideas unfold naturally; sometimes floating over the bar lines, sometimes not.  This is done very smoothly yet unpredictably: again, the sure sign of a great jazz pianist, regardless of style! 

 This is not a “difficult” listen!  It is strong and beautifully inviting to any lover of good music, good jazz, and great piano trios!  This music has that same sense of integrity of the great piano trios of the late 50’s and 60’s, but played for today, right now!  Very fresh and totally relevant; and desperately needed now more than ever.   Enjoy!

Richie Beirach - New York City, Sept. 2000