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Chris Welcome: Beyond All Things

Mark Corroto By

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Saxophonist Stephen Gauci has begun to document some of the weekly concerts he curates at the Bushwick Public House in Brooklyn, New York. Although brief, this session of a single, 29-minute track packs a satisfying punch to the solar plexus. Led by guitarist Chris Welcome (of the Lisa Mezzacappa Trio, David McDonnell Group and Weasel Walter), this octet frames a dose of free jazz as both unconstrained and choreographed—if by "choreographed" we mean the players are generously simpatico.

For a free jazz octet to share in this manner, they must be first-class musicians and really good people. Welcome employs trumpeter Jaimie Branch, who the world discovered with the release of Fly Or Die (International Anthem, 2017), cornetist Kirk Knuffke (who has played with Allison Miller and Matt Wilson), saxophonists Anthony Ware and Sam Weinberg, trombonist Ben Gerstein, bassist Shayna Dulberger and drummer Mike Pride

After the opening bell, the performance draws momentum and intensity through a focused delivery of probing and exploratory ideas. The music sounds as if each player is pooling resources and charging batteries for the eventual solos. Then they come:  Branch scores from downtown before horns combine and Weinberg's trombone is exercised over a percussion display and spooky guitar effects. Everyone gets a turn to raise the pillars and posts of this building. But even when things get noisy, there is a coherence to the music, even as it gets weird.

Track Listing

Track 1.

Personnel

Jaimie Branch: trumpet; Kirk Knuffke: Bb cornet, Eb cornet; Anthony Ware: alto saxophone; Sam Weinberg: tenor saxophone; Ben Gerstein; trombone, percussion; Chris Welcome: guitar, percussion; Shayna Dulberger: bass; Mike Pride: drums, percussion.

Additional information

Title: Beyond All Things | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Gauci Music

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