field report no.012916

SUBJECT: Farmers by Nature

This piano trio is cut in a classic mold, but pushes against the future. I admit I am not certain, but I believe all the pieces are improvised on the spot, but each of these players comes at it with a composer's mind. It never feels unfocused. The music of the night never stopped, each movement bridging to the next, leaving so many striking moments along the way. Parker transforming a slow mathematical pulse into rollicking bop. Taborn taking flight with lightning speed and fearsome precision—more classical virtuoso than Cecil Taylor. The ways Cleaver could retune the space—opening or compressing the music like a bellows—with an almost imperceptible change.

Given the small quarters of the Stone (and that I had to excuse myself to get past the band to exit) I took a moment to ask Craig Taborn if he was influenced by Mal Waldron. All through the night I was catching echoes of the way Waldron would worry short phases into hypnotic, ever-morphing launchpads for greater exploration. Taborn responded very much in the affirmative, saying [to paraphrase], "Waldron is in his top 10 or maybe even 5 (but such things get hard to parse out at some level)".

NOTES: Craig Taborn, piano; William Parker, bass; Gerald Cleaver, drums