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Album Review

Rasmussen, Flaherty, Rowden, Corsano: Crying in Space


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Rasmussen, Flaherty, Rowden, Corsano: Crying in Space
The question to be answered during this live performance was, "Will there be enough space for all the musicians' voices to be heard?" Recorded at Firehouse 12, in June 2019, this new ensemble is an adaptation of various duos and familiar trios. Saxophonist Paul Flaherty and drummer Chris Corsano have performed and recorded numerous discs together since the late '90s, releasing high-octane free jazz. The same can be said of the drummer's duo work with Danish saxophonist Mette Rasmussen; their two releases All The Ghosts At Once (Relative Pitch, 2015) and A View Of The Moon (From The Sun) (Clean Feed, 2018) are excellent examples of sympathetic co-operation. It was a natural evolution for Corsano to invite the two saxophonists to record as a trio, and Star-Spangled Voltage (Hot Cars Warp Records, 2015) was the result.

With Crying In Space, the trio becomes a quartet, with the edition of Zach Rowden; the bassist's first love was punk, before he developed a taste for free improvisation, folk, drone, and noise, all of which makes him an excellent fit with Rasmussen, Flaherty and Corsano. The touch point here is Albert Ayler's conceptions of free jazz. The 20+ minute opener "The Hesitant Nature of Doubt (Shadow Chase)" begins with a mournful keening. The two saxophonists wrap their sounds round and round each other as Rowden works his bowed bass and Corsano keeps up a fidgety pulse. The conflagration eventually quietens as the four ease off the accelerator and the individual instruments come to the fore. Ayler-like proclamations resound and the machinery restarts its production of energy jazz only to change direction as the piece ends, with quiet duos between Rasmussen and Flaherty, followed by Rowden and Corsano.

Rasmussen opens "What to Expect When Faking Your Own Death" with her stuttering solo saxophone spitting split tones which eventually invite the others to join the affair, its sounds become a whirlpool of churning energy. The key here is the quartet's balancing of that energy through supportive playing. They mix the loud with the gentle, and even the loud maintains a subtlety. The highlight of the performance might be the brief "Industrial Sabotage Friday" with Ayler-inspired anthem melodies which get stretched and embellished to great effect.

Track Listing

The Hesitant Nature of Doubt (Shadow Chase); What to Expect When Faking Your Own Death; Industrial Sabotage Friday.


Mette Rasmussen: saxophone, alto; Paul Flaherty: saxophone, tenor; Zachary Rowden: bass, acoustic; Chris Corsano: drums.

Additional Instrumentation

Mette Rasmussen: objects; Paul Flaherty: alto saxophone

Album information

Title: Crying in Space | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Relative Pitch Records

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