This is Mark Whitecage's second CIMP release. The first (CIMP 106) was done in the winter, with a trio (Duval&Rosen), and dealt more with prearranged musical structures/tunes. This session, which took place in highly humid weather in midsummer, is completely spontaneous. The trio, which has been together since January 1995, was expanded to a quartet for this recording with the addition of Tomas Ulrich on cello. An accomplished cellist in both composed and improvised music, Tomas works a beautiful interplay with Dominic Duval which in turn encourages the soulfulness of Mark Whitecage's playing. Jay Rosen, the fourth element here, fills in and propels. Jay is an extremely effective percussionist because he listens and doesn't feel compelled to play all the time. He's not a flashy guy and it may reflect why he is so effective in this music: he puts the music ahead of ego; he feels, he listens. He is also a bit of a chameleon as a number of the sounds a listener might attribute to reeds or strings are actually played by the percussionist on one of his many instruments.
One of the things that makes Mark Whitecage's trio/quartet so rewarding is the control of ego. Each member is free to contribute ideas and direct the group's exploration, there is no deferring of one's creativity or pulling a punch. If it's there, it's allowed to come out in all its glory and propagate. With this much talent, that represents a huge potential for creative brilliance. These guys have tremendous capacity and as a group it's exponentially exposed and allowed to find its own way.
Dominic Duval, while listening to some of the playback from this session, commented, It's amazing where the music will go if you let it. It is indeed, and in this case it is a pleasure to behold.
Robert D. Rusch