The music industry in general and critics in particular love labels. Labels allow the industry to better categorize and sell what they consider to be "their" product. Critics (for the most part) love labels as it takes the pressure off and the guess work out of the equation when it come to sharing a perspective on a release.
TranceFormation In Concert is an incredibly unique, free flowing and organic take on music with the music and words 100% improvised. TranceFormation is music in and about the moment. The spontaneous synergy generated by such a zen like trio is most impressive, toss in the fact that the performance is a live show recorded at the Stone, New York, Sept. 20, 2009 and Korzo Brooklyn, Feb. 2, 2010. The trio is composed of Wolper handling vocal duties including spoken word, pianist Connie Crothers, and bassist Ken Filiano. Opening with a spoken word free jazz infused "The Same Moon" immediately demonstrates the ability of three musical voice to speak individually but with a collective synergy that is incredibly intriguing. While the topic of genre always seems to enter the conversation when not needed my impression would be a special sub genre unique to this trio perhaps known as beatnik free jazz. Vocally uninhibited and with constantly shifting meter and dynamics from pianist Crothers and a subtle performance nuance that seems to bring the trio together as one. Harmonically this is some dangerous ground they are treading, the potential for hitting a sonic trip wire and having the entire performance go horribly wrong is huge. TranceFormation avoids the inherent danger and instead of transcending genre, embraces multi genres on a myriad of textural levels. "The Fifth Stone" in one of the short more introspective pieces with pianist Crothers giving a Keith Jarrett like performance while creating a mysterious dynamic tension. Make no mistake, Crothers is walking a harmonic tightrope without a net and her performance on this particular number is amazing. "The Things You See In New York City" opens and is anchored by a syncopated yet walking bass line adding a special rich sonic color to this spoken word lyrical performance that for this critic borders on an existential haiku of immense texture and with a sense of dynamic urgency.
This is an intimate performance that while seemingly more cerebral does hit on a visceral level. Lyrical and instrumental improvisational poetry in motion. In terms of creativity it is off the charts. The key to this or any other release that plays in the more free jazz idiom is to listen, be the ball as they say. A captivating performance for those that like to step outside their traditional vocal jazz comfort zone this is a musical exploratory with taking.
Tracks: The Same Moon; When Souls Run Around In The Night; The Fifth Stone; The Things You See In New York City; Whale Song; Lines And Circles, Squared; Love Within A Time Of Turbulence; Sea Island Sometimes.
Personnel: Andrea Wolper: voice; Ken Filiano: bass; Connie Crothers: piano.
Special Thanks To Michael Bloom of Michael Bloom Media Relations