Third Reel@Pully City Club 28th November 2013

third_reel_bw_5-1A Swiss-Italian trio of highly capable musicians each with their own rich jazz heritage and a myriad of parallel musical projects, Third Reel’s true creative potential lies in giving space and shape to each of their sensitive and contrasting compositions. The very individual sonic soundscapes combine jazz improvisation, beautiful unrushed melodies and moody rock influences suggestive of past configurations à la Paul Motian, Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano, but  with a strong hint of free jazz thrown in to provoke and surprise.

Theirs is a very stripped back, predominantly languid sound which seems to suit the sparsely populated and rather chilly Pully City Club on this cold November evening. Band leader and saxophonist Nicolas Masson has a bad cold and his spoken voice is barely audible as he makes his introductions, thankfully however his musical voice is pure, emotive and powerful throughout the performance, varying in intensity from delicate musings to great volcanic depths.

Compositions creep in delicately and like liquid mercury gradually inhabit the space around them. It’s an interesting mindset where the listener soon adjusts to the pleasure of patience, almost longingly enjoying the gaps as much as the notes. Drummer Emanuele Maniscalco is often softly present leaving the sax with a vast horizon to lead with the melody and the guitar to create dramatic tension. Much has already been written about Roberto Pianca‘s style somewhere between grungy “Hendrix distortion” and  “delicate Jim Hall”, it does provide exciting contrasts between the pale pastels and the darker moods.

It is precisely in the movement between subtle introspection with each element seemingly wandering off in a separate direction and the unpredictable, fiery exhuberance where they all regroup that the magic lies. Third Reel’s eponymous debut album came out on ECM earlier this year, an absorbing, entrancing exploration of composition and improvisation very representative of the label’s modern sound.

Nicolas Masson: tenor sax & clarinette
Roberto Pianca: guitar
Emanuele Maniscalco: drums

Third Reel played @ Pully City Club, Lausanne, 28th November 2013.

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