Ember with Orrin Evans

No One Is Any One
(Sunnyside)

The first half of Ember’s latest release, No One Is Any One, features the Brooklyn-based trio operating within a register of simple, stripped-down melodies punctuated by strong and deep bass lines.

But when pianist Orrin Evans arrives midway through the effort, the meeting of their two styles produces something special. “Peace Of Deoxygenated Sleep” is a tune befitting its peculiar title. And Evans’ presence provides ample space for what turns out to be the album’s peak.

Along with that moment, there is much to appreciate here. Noah Garabedian’s bass playing in particular is worth a listen. His is the first sound we hear, and as we are gradually brought into the orbit of Garabedian, Caleb Wheeler Curtis on alto saxophone and Vinnie Sperrazza on drums.

While Garabedian provides rhythmic wow, Curtis offers melodic filling. But it is Vinnie Sperrazza’s consistent drum work that makes Ember’s work effectively well-rounded.

The group came together in 2017, starting out with just rehearsals that were more conversations about music. Those conversations turned into gigs and gigs turned into tours.

Evans came into the session as a friend and collaborator with Curtis, just looking to help.

Some have called Ember an experimental band. Often the label experimental is used to denote a sound that defies a convention or category. And maybe that word is too small to capture what is going on with No One Is Any One.