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Album Review

Tsahar/Cooper-Moore/Drake – “Lost Brother ” – [Hopscotch Records]

Thurston Hunger   1/7/2006   CD, Jazz

At times, this feels like we’re listening to one big sonic
Goldberg contraption, with pipes connecting Assif Tsahar’s
bass clarinet to Hamid Drake’s tablas which then trigger
Cooper-Moore’s twanger. That twanger recalls Bradford Reed’s
pencillina : a long, rubbery single string wiggling sort of
fretless bass sound. When it is at the forefront of these
pieces, things go a little waterbed. But then you listen to
“The Shepherd” and the point where Cooper-Moore disappears
on his ashimba and Drake appears gets pretty blurry. On that
track, Tshar fever-flutters over the united rhythm section,
sounding hyper-dixieland in small stretches. “Dugong the
Sea Cow” moves with aquatic grace, with Tsahar taking deeper
breaths than the namesake mammal itself can. “Confessions”
has a bubbly ebullience that gradually peters out, I kept
expecting someone to join them on spoons for that number.
That track again epitomizes the all-connected nature of this
very together trio. Another topnotch hopscotch outing!
-Thurston Hunger

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