REVIEWS for WHY NOT?
Why Not? has an urgency beyond the three recordings above. The trio
of drummer Mat Marucci, saxophonist Doug Webb and bassist Rob Lemas
offers a blowing session with a definite Coltrane accent. I'm not
talking slavish imitation, where each lick and gesture can be
referenced back to a particular moment in the Coltrane oeuvre, rather
music inspired by the master in its imagination and energy. The locus
of the ensemble are long-time collaborators Marucci and Webb. Their
telepathic communication is evident throughout with Marucci playing
Elvin to Webb's Coltrane. The music builds over polyrhythmic swirls of
percussion with Webb ecstatically riding the thermals the drummer
generates. Lemas grounds the music with a steady, warm pulse, felt as
much as heard. The music has the energy of free, but employs a variety
of structures, bluesy and song form. The closing saxophone-drums duet
even draws on the old standard "Fine and Dandy," though the source
material is obscured in the chiaroscurist rendering. Webb draws on
Verdi for the briefs set of variations, and Marucci uses a
transcription of part of a freely improvised performance to shape
another piece, "Avenue of the Americas." Webb's "Steps to the Left"
even manages to ring an interesting musical performance based on those
ill-used "Giant Steps" changes. The trio's ability to fully mine these
variety of structures for vibrant, ceiling scrapping blowing marks
this as a notable recording.