Drummer and percussionist Ted Moore teams up with pianist Phil Markowitz and bassist Kai Eckhardt for a collection of mostly modal, mostly original tunes. The one ringer is Joseph Brakett's "Simple Gifts" which also includes clever dashes of Aaron Copeland in the puree'. Moore lays down nice pulsations to Markowitz's McCoy Tyner-inspired chords on the rich title track and the assertive "What's The Meaning of This" while the team snaps to "Theme and Variations". Eckhardt delivers some nice weaving and soloing through Moore's sticks on "Waltz For Chick" and glides through the high hat for "Beyond Silence". Firm and flexible hands.
Gogo Penguin's self-titled album, which is their third, is the first one I have heard, and am quite impressed. The English trio consists of pianist Chris Illingworth, bassist Nick Blacka and Rob Turner on drums, and instead of being a Bad Plus or Brad Mehldau knockoff, they've created a fresh and original sound. Illingworth's piano has a strong touch and alliance at times to Chopinesque and Bachlike themes, but his fingers are propelled by Turner's energetic drums as on the dramatic "Atomised" and galloping "F Maj Pixie" while the team is off to the races on the torrid "Totem". Illingsworth sometimes uses the piano strings to harplike effect as he teams with Blacka on the pulsed "Don't Go" or the West African toned "Kora". A graceful dance between bass and piano take place on "Open" and rich spaces along with some windlike sound effects create a rich and tensile tension on "1_#" with all factors and strengths of the band coming to a rich apotheosis with strings, drum patters, gallops and prancing ivories on "Signal In The Noise". Check these gents out!!!