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Pandelis Karayorgis Quintet: Circuitous

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Swarm"

In the album liners, Boston-based jazz pianist Pandelis Karayorgis cites this unit as a dream band, featuring prominent Chicagoans, saxophonist Dave Rempis and drummer Frank Rosaly. Never one to run short on creative sparks, the pianist is a sly arranger, and these works are asymmetrically synched within organization and improvisation. Moreover, several of these pieces are influenced by Thelonious Monk, primarily from an unconventional rhythmic standpoint amid odd-metered expressionism.

Vivid imagery is rampant on "Swarm," where the frontline sax section's flurries mimic a swarm of bees buzzing around in low-to-upper registers. However, Karayorgis deconstructs the panorama into a miniscule subplot via patchy clusters as he realigns the band and raises the pitch due to his bristling chord voicings, only to descend back into a quiet interlude where McBride stirs the pot. The quintet gravitates back to higher elevations, incited by warm sax choruses, leading to rough-hewn lines devised with vocal-like aspects, closing it out with a frenzied opus and whirling dervish-type intensity. It's a multi-part aural treat containing cavernous valleys and towering peaks. and is one of many testaments to Karayorgis' boundless imaginative powers, evidenced throughout the program.

Personnel: Dave Rempis: tenor, alto and baritone saxophones; Keefe Jackson: tenor saxophone, bass and contrabass clarinet; Pandelis Karayorgis: piano; Nate McBride: bass; Frank Rosaly: drums.

Title: Circuitous | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Driff Records

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