Whit Dickey Trio | Emergence | Not Two Records

Ms. Eri Yamamoto is a NY based jazz pianist who has been playing regularly with her own trio for nearly a decade. After releasing three discs on her own Jane Street label, Eri hooked up with Matt Shipp and William Parker and has been moving into freer playing and forms. After playing on two discs for William Parker, Thirsty Ear released two discs under Eri’s name, another trio date and a duos session with William Parker, Hamid Drake, Daniel Carter & Federico Ughi. On each of these discs, Eri’s playing gets more adventurous. I caught this trio with Eri, Daniel Carter & Whit Dickey at this year’s Vision Fest (2009) and was knocked out by their performance. This is a studio recording and does have impressive sound and although these are group improvisations, it rarely sounds that way. “Conversation” is sparse and rather bluesy yet minimal piano, simmering muted trumpet and ultra subtle drums. What’s is interesting about this disc is that both Daniel Carter and Whit Dickey are known for being some of downtown’s most intense free improvisers, yet here they are unusually restrained and fit perfectly with the calm yet quietly provocative overall vibe. For “Get Up”, it is as if the players are moving through a dream and swinging at a medium tempo. “Mobile” is even more sparse and haunting, with exquisite flute from DC and suspense-filled sounds from Eli and Whit. “Twirls” is aptly titles since Whit sounds like he is twirling, providing the central uplifting rhythmic flow with the piano and tenor spinning around him. Throughout this disc Eli paints a skeletal thread between the members of this fine trio, weaving as one elegant singular force. A surprise move, a sly feint, from what we might otherwise expect from these folks. — Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery Continue reading