Charlie Haden & Paul Motian (featuring Geri Allen): Fiasco
Recorded: New York, 1988
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
While this late '80s session lists Charlie Haden and Paul Motian as co-leaders, the essential characteristic of all of this trio's fine performances is that there is actually no musical leader at all – Geri Allen, Charlie Haden and Paul Motian democratically divide their share of the "lead" about 33 and 1/3 percent of the time. And when a musician happens to be soloing, the other two improvisers are no doubt creating a playful, spontaneous support system that is as important as the solo being performed. It is no coincidence that this high-level, "share-the-lead" interaction is a major characteristic of only the finest piano trios, from Bill Evans to Keith Jarrett to Brad Mehldau. The fast-paced, Motian-penned "Fiasco" shows off the talents of all three players – they remain sensitive, relaxed and free at a blistering tempo. Note how the intensity constantly raises throughout this track without an increase in volume – as the musicians become more entangled, their interactive intensity is all the track needs to keep our attention.
Reviewer: Eric Novod