Sometimes, it takes five minutes to reach a sublime 30 seconds. Saxophonist Jonathan Suazo, guitarist Gabriel Vicens and drummer Leonardo Osuna bring out a second disc — or rather a pair of them — under the No Base Trio name, and they bring that little maxim to life. It would be too easy to describe the Puerto Rican musicians' sound as cool, which it certainly is, but as the first long track emerges, it's just as easy to delve into the hidden heat in that long gliding saxophone pitch, complete with its tiny tail. The tension slowly mounts, as if a turning tide was being caught in a bottle, until, right on schedule at the five-minute mark, a dynamically enhanced hit by drums and saxophone signals one of those moments of clarity prized by improvisers of every description. While they happen to be grooving with increasing strength on the first of the entirely improvised pieces on offer, the group also plumbs the depths of genre inclusion, as on the second and penultimate excursions. The latter bristles with some well-placed and highly syncopated electronics, affording a kind of fusion vibe still stripped of slavish demarcation. Still, everything comes off as a kind of preparation for the nearly half-hour closer, rife with silence and sustain. It's as if all is summed up in this slowly breathing and foundationally vibrant climb toward the subterranean groove that shakes the speakers. Who needs the bass anyway?
There are groups that fail to accomplish exactly what makes this group successful, and that involves listening. From that dynamically rich instant five minutes into the first piece, that sense of communal playing informs each gesture, phrase and long arching line the trio draws from instruments stretched beyond preconceived boundaries. Again, the final piece brings all preceding it into focus, a beautiful and mysterious meditation on sound, silence and the points through which they reflect each other. That half hour of music opens a door, and it will be fascinating to observe in which direction these three veteran improvisers take their combined artistic endeavor.
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