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Joe Giardullo & Sangeeta Michael Berardi: Art Spirit

Glenn Astarita By

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The title of this effort is founded upon painter Robert Henri’s 1923 book The Art Spirit. As multi-reedman Joe Giardullo notes: “these duets with (guitarist) Sangeeta are paintings and drawings to me.” Hence, an appropriate correlation of what appears to be an - off the beaten path - series of duets between Giardullo and the infrequently recorded guitarist Sangeeta Michael Berardi. The latter was a proponent of the now legendary New York City loft scene, while introducing free-jazz to the artsy Woodstock, NY area.

A major source of interest with this release is based upon the duo’s lilting blend of electro-acoustic fireworks, where Giardullo uses an arsenal of reeds to complement Berardi’s space-rock guitar work. On “Pietrasanta," the duo renders an ethereal, middle eastern hued motif with hazy dreamscapes. Here, it’s almost as if time is irrelevant, as they propagate an effect that invalidates your psyche. Other tracks feature avant-garde explorations, improvisational excursions, and vamps that might suggest a meeting between Albert Ayler and Jimi Hendrix.

The twosome engages in a sequence of tone-shaping exercises. With “Bilbao Curve,” Giardullo’s plaintive cries are augmented by a series of shrieks and howls while Berardi’s dark-toned electric musings are rooted within the lower registers. On the other hand, the music contained within might serve as a good antidote for listlessness or general malaise. Highly recommended.

Track Listing

Blisterioso, Music House, Pietrasanta, Aspectations, Art Spirit, Touched, Bilboa Curve, Spirit Window

Personnel

Sangeeta Michael Berardi, guitar; Joe Giardullo, alto and soprano saxes, flute and bass clarinet

Additional information

Title: Art Spirit | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Boxholder Records

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