274

Jim Gailloreto: American Complex

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Jim Gailloreto: American Complex Chamber jazz or third stream—or whatever the amalgamation of western classical music and jazz is called—has had a handful of talented proponents sprinkled throughout the history of music. They have ranged from the more structured compositions of Igor Stravinsky to the looser improvisations of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Soprano saxophonist Jim Gailloreto has recently joined the ranks of these musicians.

On American Complex, Gailloreto is in the company of a traditional string quartet, a guitarist on one track, and Patricia Barber's piano and vocals on two.

The CD is made up of a long, four-movement piece and a shorter one—all by Gailloreto— as well as a few standards, including Thelonious Monk, and two compositions by Barber. Even though there is a strong improvisational component to the music the feel is very much that of Western classical with jazzy touches. This is true even with the Monk compositions. Comparing this string quintet with, for example, cellist Akua Dixon's Quartette Indigo sessions—very much blues-drenched jazz with classical accents—this set is the other way around. Barber's songs fit well within the overall structure of the record, but they bear the imprint of her unique sound and style.

The instrumental tracks are very interesting both in their intricate constructs and in the solo and group improvisations. The main soloist is Gailloreto, but on "'Round Midnight" he shares the spotlight with violinist Katherine Hughes, and on "Well You Needn't" with guitarist John McLean. This is not to say that the quartet is relegated to the background like 1940s and '50s popular jazz records, where the role of the strings was to smooth out the horn sounds and make improvised jazz palatable to a larger audience. Quite the contrary,the quartet's playing is as angular as Gailloreto—who is a master of his instrument. He is able to use repetitive ideas and concepts without making the record monotonous; in fact, he is able to infuse his themes with something new each time he improvises on them.

Even though this is not traditional jazz it is a very enjoyable and intellectually stimulating slice of improvised music from a master composer and saxophonist.


Track Listing: All The Things You Are; Well You Needn't; Honeysuckle Rose; Spring Song; American Complex I: Soliloquy; American Complex II: Lullaby; American Complex III: Incantation; American Complex IV: Sermon; 'Round Midnight; Wind Song; Bad Clowns.

Personnel: Jim Gailloreto: soprano saxophone; Katherine Hughes: violin; Carol Kalvonjian: violin; Benton Wedge: viola; Jill Kaeding: cello; Patricia Barber: vocals and piano (4,10); John McLean: guitar (2).

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Origin Classical | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 24, 2016
Read "District Six" CD/LP/Track Review District Six
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 3, 2016
Read "Mancera #5" CD/LP/Track Review Mancera #5
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 9, 2016
Read "Big City Love" CD/LP/Track Review Big City Love
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 24, 2016
Read "Rubicon" CD/LP/Track Review Rubicon
by John Kelman
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction" CD/LP/Track Review Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!