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Michael Formanek
Small Places

Tim Berne alto saxophone
Craig Taborn piano
Michael Formanek double-bass
Gerald Cleaver drums, shruti box
 
Small Places
Pong
Parting Ways
Rising Tensions And Awesome Light
Slightly Off Axis
Seeds And Birdman
Wobble And Spill
Soft Reality

Recorded December 2011

ECM 2267
 
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Small Places is double bassist/composer Michael Formanek’s follow-up to “The Rub and Spare Change”, his widely lauded ECM debut as a leader. That 2010 release garnered a rare five-star review in DownBeat magazine, while The New York Times described the disc as being “graceful in its subversions, often even sumptuous.” The review in Progression perhaps puts it best: “This type of listening experience, dense yet luminiferous, treads the tightrope between cerebral and streetwise in a damn cool way.” The new album features the same powerhouse band of long-time confreres, with Formanek in telepathic league with saxophonist Tim Berne, pianist Craig Taborn and drummer Gerald Cleaver. If anything, Small Places is a step beyond this quartet’s first release, with the compositions and improvisation blending so seamlessly that a listener is scarcely able to tell where one leaves off and the other begins. Earthy yet atmospheric, this is very 21st-century American jazz, the music brimming with piquant riffs and muscular ostinatos, rich in melodic possibility and the sound of surprise.



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