There’s an optimism at work here that is contagious. Rather than being garishly ebullient, however, it is quietly contemplative. The music is also often delicate to the point of fragility, as befits what is loosely a programmatic depiction of the lifecycle of the caterpillar/butterfly. This is the second album from the Sydney-based Indonesian jazz pianist Francesca Prihasti, and again she recorded it in New York, this time with Australian guitarist Nic Vardanega and the Big Apple’s Orlando Le Flemming (bass) and Rodney Green (drums).
Prihasti’s pastel-hued compositions are brought to more vivid life by the soloing. Her own silken improvisations contrast with Vardanega’s more hard-lined forays, and both are underpinned by a rhythm section so fluid as to fit the shape of any musical vessel in which it might find itself. Le Flemming solos with wistful lyricism on Safe Distance, a piece that concludes with some striking statements from Green. The music is uniformly pretty, almost relentlessly so, and begs for at least one piece of higher drama to raise the stakes for a moment, as would befit the programmatic concept, too.