The American trio of pedal steel guitar master Susan Alcorn, clarinetist Patrick Holmes and drummer Ryan Sawyer have been working sporadically for more than a decade now but From Union Pool, recorded live at Union Pool in Brooklyn in March 2022, is the debut album of this trio. Alcorn is a visionary composer and improviser who has taken the pedal steel guitar into free improvised, contemporary and nuevo-tango music territories. Holmes is known for his work with sax players Daniel Carter and Sabeer Mateen. Ryan plays in Alcorn Quintet and has worked with a spectrum of musicians and bands from The Mekons and Thurston Moore to Zeena Parkins, Mette Rasmussen and Nate Wooley.
From Union Pool offers three intimate but restless pieces that cement the tight and conversational dynamics of the trio while unleashing its fiery energy. Alcorn suggests sensual, atmospheric outlines, filled by Holmes’ melodic articulations while Sawyer’s powerful drumming keeps pushing the trio forward. Alcorn, Holmes and Sawyer allow these consecutive pieces to develop organically and build and release the tension according to their own inner logic. These pieces gain more power and volume but only flirt briefly with explosive, cathartic climaxes, and again and again, return to the intriguing and sensual ideas of Alcorn. Just as the Relative Pitch says that this «adventurous set catches lightning in a bottle».
Susan Alcorn (pedal steel g), Patrick Holmes (cl), Ryan Sawyer (dr)