If you find yourself listening to one of Codona's albums with your eyes closed and your mind on hold, it's understandable. The simple yet entrancing folk melodies at the heart of Codona's "world music" encourage meditation. The muted color of Don Cherry's trumpet, the raga-inflected, European- refined sitar of Collin Walcott and the rustling Brazilian percussion played by Nana Vasconcelos create a calming, almost hypnotic force.
On "Codona 3," the trio's latest album, the combination of exotic stringed instruments, mantra-like chants and tribal percussion is particularly seductive, enhanced by a pristine digital recording. As usual, the trio also offers some special moments. Previous Codona albums offered a surprise or two -- usually a contribution by Cherry so deeply rooted in American folk tradition that even non-Western instrumentation can't obscure its origin for a moment. And "Codona 3" is no exception. This time it's the immensely appealing and familiar "Clicky Clacky," a thoroughly American train blues (complete with whistle), on which Walcott's plucked bent-note sitar, Vasconcelos' chugging rhythms and Cherry's muttered narrative bring to life an itinerant's recollections of his train travels. ON RECORD, ON STAGE THE ALBUM CODONA -- CODONA 3 (ECM 23785-1). THE SHOW CODONA, Monday at 9 and 11 at Blues Alley.