Home » Jazz Articles » Chris Pitsiokos: Art Of The Alto

5

Album Review

Chris Pitsiokos: Art Of The Alto

By

Sign in to view read count
Chris Pitsiokos: Art Of The Alto
Chris Pitsiokos contains multitudes. His sounds do, and from that one can extrapolate, he as an artist also. He can be found in multiple settings from chamber music to rock and noise. His music touches on improvisation, free jazz, and fusion. Pitsiokos leads several ensembles from his CP Unit to the trio Protean Reality with Susana Santos Silva and Torbjorn Zetterberg, Carny Cant with Jason Nazary and Rick Eye, and Bi Ba Doom with Luke Stewart and Jason Nazary. Then there are the duo performances, too many to mention.

Where does he acquire this sound and his varied approach to music making? The answer can be found in his solo work, Speak In Tongues (Relative Pitch, 2020), and the eight tracks found on Art of the Alto. Each track is not necessarily a melody, but more like different sound palettes he can employ elsewhere. "Dolomite," one of two lengthy tracks opens with Merzbow—like extreme blasts of saxophone noise which segues into an upper register attack utilizing harsh split tone sounds. Pitsiokos' favors circular breathing throughout and this gymnastic approach highlights both his physical agility and creative process.

The other lengthy track, "Shale," another circular breathing performance, draws from a sound familiar to Evan Parker listeners with repeating patterns and volume modulations. Pitsiokos shifts into overblown notes before ending with skipping pops and guttural sound. The remaining shorter tracks are varied and well seasoned with varied colors. "Gabbro" is colonized by popping notes and "Sandstone," with its upper register abrasion, comes off as scratchy birdsong. The recording is an experimental laboratory for the saxophonist's investigations. It is not until the final "Anthracite" that he settles into a more gentle song form to bid weary listeners a good night.

Track Listing

Dolomite; Basalt; Feldspar; Gabbro; Shale; Obsidian; Sandstone; Anthracite.

Personnel

Chris Pitsiokos: saxophone.

Album information

Title: Art Of The Alto | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Relative Pitch

Post a comment about this album


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

More

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.