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Gemini exudes a sense of energy and freshness. Chicago-based saxophonist Nick Bisesi has done gigs with some of the best names in the business, and his knowledge and the respect for the tradition of jazz is evident; but like many of his contemporaries, he clearly wants to chart his own path.
Bisesi's crisp and fleshy tenor sound is delineated by some interesting arrangements and compositions. Bassist Patrick Williams and drummer Eric Montzka do a fine job of navigating mixed tempos and a variety of styles. Bisesi's creative soloing counterpart is Neal Alger, who delivers some snazzy and colorful guitar work that help keep this recording interesting.
The clarity of the music is strengthened by writing that gives each musician the space to make use of their abilities. A good example is heard on "The Garden where the opening notes give way to a bass solo that leads into an Indian modal groove with each instrument, adding life to the hypnotic flow.
The compositions show the musical path that the saxophonist is traveling, stating "This music represents who I am, where I've been, and where I'm going." This is translated on the soft ballad "A Short Visit," the odd-metered funk groove of "Gorilla Cookies," and the jumping ska riff of "Secret Agent of Change all of which are thoroughly engaging and highly listenable.
Track Listing: Waltz For Gayle; Gorilla Cookies; Short Visit, A; Dominick & Joey; Secret Agent Of Change;
Undercurrents; Organic Combustion; Head In The Trees; Garden, The; I Remember You;
Personnel: Nick Bisesi: tenor saxophone, wooden flute; Neal Alger: guitar;
Patrick Williams: double bass; Eric Montzka: drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.