Writes fellow-improviser Scott Fields in his liner notes, "[We have here] spontaneous composition in which the trio's sense of form erases the distinction between improvisation and premeditation. Any free improviser works with a core of practiced material. (As Mazzola says, "This music is quite the contrary of spontaneous improvisation. It's about long-term planning and then, when the job takes off, a sudden burst of all those well-planned energies.").
In the least-interactive, and so in my mind least-sophisticated and least-interesting, freely improvising ensembles, individual musicians work their core material without adapting it significantly to the contributions of their fellow improvisers. Layers of practiced ideas meet without evolving new ideas. But I never get that feeling in the seven compositions on Orbit.
Of course, the artists on Orbit have also practiced improvisational ideas in isolation and they have repertoires of techniques, but this music never sounds cobbled together from set pieces. The trio members listen and react to each other, while meticulously avoiding such hackneyed, free-improvisation gambits as echoing, which Roscoe Mitchell has scornfully referred to as 'follow the leader.'"
CD-1015(1) ORBIT: THE GEISSER/MAZZOLA/ROB BROWN TRIO
Seven compositions by Geisser and Mazzola performed by Rob Brown, alto saxophone & flute; Guerino Mazzola, grand piano, and Heinz Geisser, percussion. Total time: 71:04: [DDD]