The Indigo Trio's sophomore outing on the classy French Rogue Art imprint delivers the record fans of Nicole Mitchell the flutist have been waiting for. Mitchell the composer and arranger has been to the fore of late on Black Unstoppable (Delmark, 2007) and most notably Xenogenesis Suite (Firehouse 12, 2008), but with instrumentation stripped to the bare essentials, her unique flute styling finally gets the shop window it deserves.
Not that this is a solo vehicle. Any set featuring the Chicago triumvirate of master drummer Hamid Drake and bassist and cellist Harrison Bankhead alongside Mitchell is going to focus on infectious world rhythms, extemporized harmonies, and adventurous soloing, but it all comes together superbly on this well recorded studio set, with time well-taken to ensure they're on the money. Billed as a co-operative, all three participants divide the composer credits, along with one group effort in the 68-minute program.
Drake and Bankhead have gigged together since they were 14 years old, with countless hours supporting veteran AACM saxophonist Fred Anderson, and it shows in their near telepathic understanding and seamlessly shifting grooves, as in the multi-sectioned "A Child's Curiosity," or the embellishments which still somehow coalesce to mark time in "Anaya with the Moon". Drake has few equals in such territory, swinging the band while rarely playing the same thing twice. Bankhead rides shotgun, but also brings his considerable melodic sensibilities to the feast. Continue reading at ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM.