Nick Mazzarella Trio: Aviary (2011)
Saxophonist Nick Mazzarella keeps things neat and succinct on this shortish (30 minute) introductory release. Although compact, this release is quite loquacious and, perhaps, a presage of great things to come.
All six compositions were penned by Mazzarella, and harken back to the early 1960s, and the rise of Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy. Mazzarella, a twenty-something DePaul University graduate and Chicago resident, is a member of Green And Gold, a band dedicated to Ornette's early offsprings, Sonny Simmons and Prince Lasha. That early-Coleman/Simmons/Lasha sound is also heard here.
Together with bassist Anton Hatwich (a member of Josh Berman's Old Idea, Aram Shelton, and the Rempis Percussion Quartet) and drummer Frank Rosaly (also featured with Jeb Bishop Trio, Scorch Trio, and Jason Adasiewicz's Rolldown), Mazzarella maneuvers these chordless tracks with uncomplicated ease. His alto pokes and jabs through "Eternal Return," fluttering notes over Rosaly's brush work while harmonizing with Hatwich's bass. This unpretentious and primal search for melody, perhaps scandalous 50 years ago, is renewed here. Mazzarella rekindles the child's song as building block for the new thing on "Pescador." The playful dance the trio summons displays how infectious and danceable the avant-garde once was. Same for the slippery "Aviary," with Hatwich mimicking the glassy slope with an all-in solo that dances along with the saxophonist.
An auspicious debut, this saxophonist promises great things in the future.
Track Listing: Quarentine; Pistachio (for my bird); Eternal Return; Pescador; Free Dance; Aviary.
Personnel: Nick Mazzarella: alto saxophone; Anton Hatwich: bass; Frank Rosaly: drums.
Record Label: Self Produced
Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde