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Chris Pitsiokos: Art Of The Alto


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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.


Chris Pitsiokos

Album information

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



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