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When the cassette-only Texan label Astral Spirits released in September 2014 a live recording of the trio Icepick – trumpeter Nate Wooley, Norwegian, Texas, Austin-based double bass player Ingebrigt Håker-Flaten and drummer Chris Corsano, it sounded as a side project of these three prolific and experienced musicians. The poor sound quality of the recording contributed to this notion, adding to that the fact that these three musicians websites still have not referred to this trio as one of its current projects and do not suggest any plans for future performances of the trio, you tube or soundcloud clips.

Still, the instincts of Astral Spirits head, Nate Cross, were right on the target and exactly a year later his label releases Icepick sophomore album, «Amaranth», as its first vinyl-only album and the first one to be recorded in a studio, this time in Austin. Now Icepick sounds as a working group with a sound of its own, an immediate and emphatic interplay and a great potential as a live outfit.

Håker-Flaten is the backbone of this trio in its all incarnations. On the first piece on side one, the 12-minutes «Rosso Corsa», Wooley soars in a rare, straight-forward post-Milesian mode, with minimal usage of his common extended breathing techniques. He enjoys the dense, massive rhythm section of Corsano and Håker-Flaten, leaving enough room for Håker-Flaten highly articulate bass solo, adopting here the role of a wise and resourceful pulse-keeper that he fulfills in bands like Atomic. The second, short piece on this side, «Fuchsia», skyrockets to experimental regions, Wooley is busy fast talking-shouting through the trumpet mouthpiece while Håker-Flaten wrapps his chaotic blows in intense, manic bow work. Side two present the 19-minutes «Rare Rufescent», a fiery, free jazz blow-out, literally, that justifies the trio name. Again, it offers enough room for Håker-Flaten impressive solo, this time in a wilder, high-octane spirit of bands like The Thing.

Now it is about time for this trio to show its full potential, live.

Eyal Hareuveni

Nate Wooley (tp), Ingebrigt Håker-Flaten (b), Chris Corsano (dr)

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