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TRIPTYCH MYTH
THE BEAUTIFUL
AUM FIDELITY

Unconventional New York jazz figure Cooper-Moore also performs on flute and various homemade instruments ("diddly-bo," anyone?), but the piano is his home, and Triptych Myth is his not-quite-conventional trio. The Beautiful wonít be mistaken for an Oscar Peterson set, but itís not exactly "free jazz," either; the leaderís clean touch and compositional rigor always keep the performances tethered. "Spiraling Out" is representative: the head reworks ideas from two Monk tunes ("Four in One" and "Misterioso") while the solos, coiling and uncoiling at various tempos, describe an eccentric orbit around the original melody. The ballads "Frida K. the Beautiful" and "Pooch" are harmonically rich but never florid ó not just pretty but actually beautiful. As for the trio part of the equation: drummer Chad Taylor (of Chicago Underground Trio/Duo) is fluidly busy in an Andrew Cyrille vein, with only a few insistent snare patterns revealing his post-rock leanings, as on the folksy-funky "Poppaís Gin in the Chicken Feed." Bassist Tom Abbsís contribution is harder to isolate, and thatís the curse of a certain kind of supportive excellence, though when he steps out with some textured bowing on "Trident," he shines. These two arenít just along for the ride, but itís plain that the pianist is manning the wheel. Without the self-aggrandizement or gimmicky repertoire of Brad Mehldau or the Bad Plus, Cooper-Moore joins a short list of contemporaries (Matthew Shipp, Misha Mengelberg) who are neither out to decimate the piano-bass-drums format nor held captive by its history.

BY FRANKLIN BRUNO


Issue Date: November 25 - December 1, 2005
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