Flutist and pianist Anne Drummond's third album as a leader, Revolving, is breezy, lyrical and quite enchanting. That's not to call it artistically lightweight or categorize it as easy listening. On the contrary, her pastel-colored compositions are like impressionistic paintings and sketcher depicting spaciousness with deceptively simple lines.
A vaguely mystical sensibility permeates the title track. Drummond's agile flute flutters over lush sounds from her ensemble, as she guides them through an ethereal poem anchored only by Japanese percussist Keita Ogawa's intricate, earthy beats. A contemplative, angular conversation among Drummond's flute, David Eggar's longing, atmospheric cello and Vic Juris' sparse, finger-picking guitar wraps up the tune on a dark and exotic note
A more intimate ambience prevails on "Rustic Room," Drummond's dreamy duet with pianist Benny Green. Green's shimmering keys set the backdrop for Drummond's melancholic flight of spontaneity. His own improvisation is intensely evocative and mirrors her quivering tone.
Canadian bassist Brandi Disterheft's subtle, sophisticated performance supports her colleagues' impassioned interactions throughout. On "Harold Land," Drummond's thich and mellow alto flute soars and dips with graceful dexterity as she embellishes the main melody with intriguing ad-lib motifs. Disterheft's crisp and clever dialogue with drummer Kassa Overall brings the cool and loosely swinging tribute to thte hard-bop saxophonist to a satisfying and thrilling conclusion.
The fusion-influenced "Early" and the bossa-flavored "Elan" showcase Drummond's refined and exquisite pianism. Both pieces feature the leader's keenly romantic solos over a backdrop of relaxed grooves that are unabashedly mellifluous while eschewing syrupy sentiment.
This delightful disc closes with the frisky "Um a Zero." Drummond pirouettes flirtatiously around Eggar's nimble cello, as pianist David Chesky lays down whimsical and percussive chords. "Revolving" more than offsets its thematic disunity with sublime musicianship and creative panache.