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Stefano Leonardi / Stefano Pastor / Fridolin Blumer / Heinz Geisser: Conversations About Thomas Chapin

Glenn Astarita By

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This European quartet assembles to honor the late, New York City-based saxophonist Thomas Chapin who rose to prominence via numerous stints at the legendary Knitting Factory venue and a host of four and five star albums for Knitting Factory Records and other adventurous labels. Chapin's trio work with bassist Mario Pavone, drummer Michael Sarin and engagements with a cast of prominent denizens of Manhattan's downtown scene emanated in some of the most thrilling outside jazz during the 80s and 90s. He was a poet who translucently merged the roughhewn aspects of free jazz with a resonating melodic touch, in concert with his prowess as a composer who radiated kaleidoscopic outcomes. Sadly, Chapin left this good earth too soon as he succumbed to leukemia in 1998.

The 'Conversations' aspect of the outing are vested in the artists' inspiration and influences from Chapin's jazz aura via these asymmetrical and predominately free-form sojourns. Drummer Heinz Geisser and bassist Fridolin Blumer sustain a bustling outlook as the frontline of flautist Stefano Leonardi and violinist Stefano Pastor impart a fluctuating undercurrent with flickering dialogues and heartfelt sentiment amid the customary peaks and valleys and infuse itinerant and searching facets into the mix.

"The Way Everything Works" proceeds like a rolling and tumbling mantra with spacious movements and Blumer's firm lines; however, the band often rings in a whole lot of avant-garde like imagery. Yet the musicians soften the blow on a rather countrified note, streaked with somber dirge style discourses on "The Melody Remains." Several choruses and works contain linear segments and sinewy improvisational etudes, sparked by more than enough hustle and bustle. Here, the artists beckon listeners to share their deeply personalized four-way homage to Chapin's distinguished jazz vernacular.

Track Listing: Conversations about Thomas Chapin; Let the Creative Force Take Over; The Way Everything Works; Transcendental Journey (a Clean Slate Every Night); Music Exists Because We Love It; Anima; The Melody Remains.

Personnel: Stefano Leonardi: flutes; Stefano Pastor: violin; Fridolin Blumer: bass; Heinz Geisser: percussion.

Title: Conversations About Thomas Chapin | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Leo Records


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