LOST CHILDREN, the third release by New Orleans' Rob Wagner Trio, presents a further extension of saxophonist Wagner's unique musical vision. The performances on the CD are built on the foundation of the Trio's weekly gig of four years standing-a true luxury in the creative jazz world. The high level of understanding and trust between the players is well earned. One new element in this release is bassist James Singleton's use of distortion pedals and layered, real-time loops, expressing his interest in expanding the palette of textures available to him as an acoustic bass player. New drummer Ocie Davis brings an unusual level of subtlety, control, and dynamic range-a simmering counterbalance to Singleton's pyrotechnics and Wagner 's expressive lyricism. Once again presenting only his own compositions, LOST CHILDREN displays a real growth in Wagner's already formidable compositional skills. The forward pulse and swing rhythms demanded by jazz's neo-con gatekeepers is never completely abandoned but are augmented by liberal use of rubato interludes and lilting waltz rhythms that propel the tunes well beyond the ordinary. LOST CHILDREN straddles pre- and post-Katrina New Orleans. Recorded in June, at the beginning of the hurricane season, it was scheduled for an October release. But with everyone involved scattered with the winds, it made no sense at that time to push forward, even if it had been possible. Now that parts of the New Orleans' infrastructure have begun to fall back in place, it now possible, perhaps even necessary, to carry on. Unfortunately we carry on, for the time being, without the musicians. Rob Wagner is in New York, picking up klezmer and flamenco gigs and beginning to attempt to navigate the treacherous waters of the New York jazz scene. James Singleton now calls Los Angeles home, but he has been on the road all most constantly since the storm-with Astral Project; organist Robert Walters; or his own 3Now4 . Ocie Davis now lives in Virginia. It is fitting then that LOST CHILDREN carries an elegiac tone. Not deliberately predictive, to be sure, but now it is impossible not to hear it through the filter of disaster consciousness. We are all Lost Children now.