5

Chris Pitsiokos Trio: Gordian Twine

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos answers a slight variation of the classic Zen koan, what is the sound of one hand ripping a telephone book in two? It is this: alphabetical orderliness counts, but then again so does maelstrom. Gordian Twine, his debut as a leader, showcases his organizational and compositional skills, and, maybe more importantly, it places him within the vortex of a cyclone of sound.

This new kid on the block saxophonist has been working solo, in duos with rock and spoken word artist Lydia Lunch, drummer Weasel Walter, and noise artist Philip White. This disc with his trio of bassist Max Johnson (Kirk Knuffke, Federico Ughi) and Kevin Shea (Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Talibam!) is a brief (at just 31 minutes) outing, one that grabs handfuls of attention.

"Prologue" opens with the unruly clang of drums and hyper-speed bass lines before joining with a singed saxophone that draws equal measure from Peter Brotzmann, John Zorn and Ornette Coleman. His sound has the Brotzmann lung capacity, the Zorn fluttered notes and the blues tinge of Coleman. What is significant here is that the music maintains a taut framework throughout. "Lethe" is ablaze before it stops dead in its tracks, reignites and stops. This is not free jazz, it is drilled and organized music played at the highest level. "Atropos" feels like speed-metal for an acoustic trio. The music rejects the death of jazz by raging against all darkness. Pitsiokos can also write an evocative melody like "Lachesis." Here he plies a bluesy touch over the traced lines of Johnson's bass.

The tautness of the compositions and the discipline of the band are the draw here. The three play like punk rockers who have graduate degrees in physics.

Track Listing

Prologue; Lethe; Clotho; Lachesis; Atropos; Dissolution; Epilogue.

Personnel

Chris Pitsiokos: alto saxophone; Max Johnson: bass; Kevin Shea: drums.

Album information

Title: Gordian Twine | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: New Atlantis Records

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and through our retail affiliations you'll support us in the process.

MUSICSTACK
Rare vinyl LPs and CDs from over 1,000 independent sellers
AMAZON
CDs, Vinyl, Blu-Ray DVDS, Prime membership, Alexa, SONOS and more
HD TRACKS
Specializing in high resolution and CD-quality downloads
CD UNIVERSE
Specializing in music, movies and video games
REVERB
Marketplace for new, used, and vintage instruments and gear

More

Read First EP
First EP
True East
Read Danzón Cubano
Danzón Cubano
Marialy Pacheco
Read Occupational Hazard
Occupational Hazard
Jacek Kochan & musiConspiracy
Read Kayleidoscope
Kayleidoscope
Kayle Brecher