Limerick Jazz Society presents:
Carole Nelson: piano, soprano saxophone, text
Cormac O'Brien: bass Dominic Mullen: drums
Long at the creative hub of multi-award winning Irish jazz group Zrazy, Carole now turns her attention to exploration of the piano trio form. One Day In Winter is located in a particular space and time. Living between the River Barrow and the Blackstairs Mountains in Co. Carlow gave Carole both the physical and mental landscape for composition. The album traces the course of one winter's day, from before dawn to moonrise. In between, we are taken on a journey that describes a human landscape as much as a physical one – meditation, playfulness, wonder, contemplation of ageing and death, human warmth and companionship.
One Day In Winter was recorded in two days, often in first takes, capturing a freshness and a feeling of attentive presence. Throughout, the playing of all three musicians expresses the overarching conceptual coherence.
The opening track, Beata Viscera, is based on the 12th Century Pérotin composition. After a piano opening, Carole, Cormac and Dominic encounter each other as if from sleep, stretching gently into the music. Sun Rising Over The Blackstair takes an easy stroll through the changes, while Low Light Through Bare Trees brings delicacy, sparseness and a simple, rising melodic line to a more introspective piece.
The mood shifts decisively in Snow Is Falling. Carole delivers spoken word text, written while snow-bound for ten days during the winter of 2010. Childlike joy at first snowfall, and a reference to Joyce's The Dead show up here, ending with a wild toboggan run of free-flying notes.
Flashes of light on water, glimpses of wildlife, movement on the riverbank are all expressed in the introduction to Cold Rushing River. The seven bar form creates a restless, unceasing flow to the music which ends by opening out into a wide rolling drum piece.
The World is Full Of Love sits at the centre of the album, poised and optimistic, before we take a turn of mood into The Sky Darkens. Inspired by the death of Leonard Cohen, Carole recites her adaptation of the Buddhist meditation on ageing and death. The quiet acceptance of the text contrasts with the stormy anger of the music and ends with a soprano saxophone piece that follows the flight of a bird into the dying light.
The Silence In Between was the last piece recorded, an afterthought at the end of the session and it serves here to create a needed space after the intensity of the previous piece. Loosely tethered to a shared time, the playing from all three musicians is freely improvised.
One Day In Winter draws towards a close with Stories By the Fire. We have a sense of different voices sharing the same cheerful conversation.Then one voice picks up the thread and runs with it, developing the theme. Moon Rising Over The Blackstair closes the album, elegant and elegiac.
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