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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.
David Dupont


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