The Greek Mythology describes Khimaira as a three-headed monster, the offspring of Typhon and Echidna (the mother of all monsters) and as a creature that vomits flames, with a head of a lion, the body of a goat, and a dragon for a tail. The 21st century «Khimaira» as the cover art of this album suggests, is a much friendlier entity and represents the sophomore recording of the Child of Illusion – the trio of American alto sax player Chris Pitsiokos, Portuguese, Stockholm-based trumpeter Susana Santos Silva and Swedish double bass player Torbjörn Zetterberg, recorded at the Khimaira musical meetings series in Stockholm in June 2018, six months after this trio recorded its debut, self-titled album (Clean Feed, 2018). Silva and Zetterberg work closely in the last decade and recorded duo albums (the recent one «Tomorrow», Carimbo, 2021) and trio albums with organist Hampus Lindwall, but Pitsiokos sound like he was immediately feeling at home with their intimate interplay.
Child of Illusion describes itself as three musicians who listen carefully to each other, «even though they sometimes disagree. Each time they find a common ground that ensures that their conversations rarely become chaotic». The 42-minute free improvised «Khimaira» capture faithfully this trio’s intense yet highly organic dynamics. This piece begins with alien-sounding extended breathing and bowing techniques and slowly shifts to a delicate, soulful dance of the sax and the trumpet while the double bass anchors their tight and fast commotion. Silva and Pitsiokos continue to shift between ‘out’ and ‘in’ in the most natural manner, while Zetterberg always provides a dark, strong foundation, sometimes even a swinging one. This totally democratic trio moves like the mythological Khimaira but spits instant melodies with a great sense of nuance and sensual drama, stressing deep listening, elegance and calm, commanding beauty. Pitsiokos, Silva and Zetterberg are masters of the art of the moment and enjoy creating fascinating textures and expanding their fluid architectures.
Chris Pitsiokos (as), Susana Santos Silva (tp), Torbjörn Zetterberg (b)