Remi Alvarez: Live at Vision Festival (2012)
Saxophonist Remi Alvarez, who first performed at the festival in 2006, finds a compact umbrella under experimental music. He is comfortable improvising as well playing free jazz, parallels that are well cast on this recording. Born in Mexico, Alvarez first played the flute before becoming adept on the alto, tenor and soprano saxophones. He moved to New York City and joined the Creative Music Studio where his teachers in composition and improvisation included Anthony Braxton and George Lewis. Alvarez also travelled to Paris where he studied under Steve Lacy.
Alvarez's 2011 appearance was recorded for this CD, on which the three tracks are down-in-the-groove improvisations. Hitting his stride on the tenor, the only saxophone he played on this date, Alvarez spins a volatile vortex. His energy is abetted by the crosscurrents that spew from the rumbling strings and the angular bowing of double bassist Ken Filiano. The cornucopia of sound is livened by drummer Michael T.A.Thomas , who finds as many thick textures as he does space when the mood slips into gentler mode.
The introspective "Improv #2" continues to create a marvelous tapestry. As Alvarez weaves his patterns with studied eloquence, Dom Minasi adds discerning luminescence. He lets the moment unravel in the beautiful shades that form gently through the notes of his guitar. He never parallels the intensity even when Alvarez raises it, marking his approach as an effective study in contrast.
The quartet is seamless in its approach and its intuition insightful, which makes the music of Live at Vision Festival engrossing.
Track Listing: Improv #1; Improv #2; Improv #3.
Personnel: Remi Alvarez: tenor sax, flute; Dom Minasi: guitar; Ken Filiano: double bass; Michael T.A. Thompson: drums.
Record Label: Re: Konstrukt