It’s been some time since Brandi Disterheft, Canada’s prodigiously talented bassist, has released a recording under her own name. So it is appropriate to be reminded that listening to her is like putting your finger into a naked power-socket. Blue Canvas is lit up with a sizzling performance ten pieces long. The lasting impression they make is of deeply integrated performances that flow naturally as if the music were created on the spot. The performance is intoxicated with thrilling music by a trio that lays out its breadth and sustaining power with elegance and ease.
Although fronted by a young lady, a fact that might raise the question of feminine power, I would posit that Disterheft handles her bass violin with as much visceral audacity as the great Charles Mingus once did. She spins out the solo passages on Prelude to the Crippling Thrill and the introduction to Willow Weep for Me with dazzling facility and makes the most of her moments of emotional fire. A particular highlight of the recording is Disterheft’s vocals which play off her bass, but in an altogether different palette of thrilling, luminous colours.
It would be a travesty to even suggest that Disterheft is all that this disc has to offer. The iconic pianist Harold Mabern and drummer Joe Farnsworth complete the trio as they breathe fiery dialogues into the bassist’s sinuous lines. Theirs is a study in swing and the expressive liberation of the music’s ebb and flow.