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Ocelot - s/t (577)

26 March 2021

Free jazz trio Ocelot isn’t out to blow your mind with consolidated explosions of furious virtuosity. Influenced as much by classical music as avant-garde post bop, pianist Cat Toren, percussionist Colin Hinton and woodwinder Yuma Uesaka prefer to simply follow their own impulses, coloring outside the lines when the urge takes them. “Factum” finds the trio holding close to simple notes, creating an enveloping fog of tones that give way to fractured riffs and insistent solos. The driving, almost motorik “Post” lets each member find their own minimalist path, then weaves each line together into a brooding whole. “Sequestration” focuses the collective improvisation into a mysterious glow, like the soundtrack to a surrealist family drama. On “Contemptuality,” Toren casually strolls across her keyboard, as Uesaka and Hinton follow, or not, as they wish. Less interested in aggression than exploration, Ocelot offers free jazz that revels in both roaming and stasis.