MIKE NOCK TRIO/NZTRIO
Vicissitudes (Rattle RAT-0065)
Few attempts to combine jazz and classical elements have succeeded, most commonly because the classical dimension remains static and subservient to the fluid improvising one. This album shows how much more open and integrated the mix can be. Free improvisations cohabit with the six-part suite of the title, performed by Mike Nock (piano, electric piano, synthesizer), bassist Brett Hirst, and drummer James Waples, with the violinist, cellist and pianist who constitute NZTrio. At the heart of a suite written for the people of Christchurch is an evolution from post-apocalyptic eeriness to a more lyrical, elegiac and impressionistic world, and then a subtle strengthening that lies somewhere between stoicism and optimism. All the while the classical trio flits and swirls through Nock’s supple band as organically as leaves falling from a tree.