3

AGNZ: Chance Meeting

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
AGNZ: Chance Meeting
Before proceeding, a word about the name of this admirable quartet: AGNZ (jazz from A to Z?) comprises the first letter in the last names of its four members—guitarist Jay Azzolina, tenor saxophonist Dino Govoni, drummer Adam Nussbaum and bassist Dave Zinno. It further denotes, presumably, a certain level of parity, a selflessness and camaraderie among equals in which the sum of their efforts is always more decisive than its component parts.

Chance Meeting, the group's first recording together, isn't arbitrarily named; its genesis was indeed a chance meeting between Zinno and Nussbaum (touring in Italy) after which Nussbaum suggested that the bassist get in touch with a friend, guitarist Azzolina, who lived near Zinno in Rhode Island. After landing a gig in Providence, Zinno and Azzolina invited Nussbaum and Govoni to make it a quartet, which led ultimately to this album, in which they pay implicit tribute to someone they all loved and admired, the late tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker.

To underscore the symmetry of the group, each member contributed original compositions, the whole of which comprises the sum and substance of the album. Govoni's debt to Brecker is apparent from the outset, especially so on his warm-hearted "Lament for Michael Brecker." Azzolina, for his part, employs an angular, resonant guitar that is for the most part decorous, whether comping or soloing. The quartet is at its collective best on "Lament," as it is on other even-tempered themes such as Nussbaum's "My Maia" and "Insight, Enlight" or Zinno's "Asha" and "14." Azzolina's "Jimmy's Blues" is a well-grooved charmer, while Zinno's "Meat Sauce" adds a funky sauce to the mix.

Speaking of taste, Nussbaum's drums may at times be a tad too upfront and busy for some tastes. That's notably the case on the sunny opener, Azzolina's "Problem Child," on Govoni's "N.T.I.," which follows, and Azzolina's sinewy "1 of 3." It must be assumed, however, that it was part of the game plan, as everyone digs in hard to reinforce Nussbaum's freewheeling temper. Framework aside, AGNZ delivers more than an hour of tasteful small-group jazz that is well worth savoring.

Track Listing

Problem Child; N.T.I.; Lament for Michael Brecker; 1 of 3; My Maia; Asha; Jimmy’s Blues; 14; Meatsauce; Insight, Enlight.

Personnel

Jay Azzolina: guitars; Dino Govoni: tenor saxophone; Adam Nussbaum: drums; Dave Zinno: bass.

Album information

Title: Chance Meeting | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Whaling City Sound

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Earth
Earth
Dave Liebman
Read Urban(e)
Urban(e)
Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra
Read Hiding Place
Hiding Place
Mark Murphy, Folk Artist
Read The Truce
The Truce
Markus Reuter
Read Data Lords
Data Lords
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Read In Igma
In Igma
Pedro Melo Alves
Read Blood Moon
Blood Moon
Ingrid Laubrock + Kris Davis

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.