Ever since moving to Austria in 2004, Bay Area alto saxophonist Marco Eneidi has flown beneath the radar, particularly in terms of recorded output. His discography boasts some heavy duty entries, including late trumpeter Bill Dixon's Thoughts (Soul Note, 1986) and bass maestro William Parker's Sunrise In The Tone World (Aum Fidelity, 1996), in addition to several appearances with legendary pianist Cecil Taylor, so it's a real pleasure to find him in the company of three other West Coast residents for a program of no holds barred free jazz. Cohesion derives from the many connections between the participants. As well as anchoring her own quartet, the pairing of bassist Lisa Mezzacappa and drummer Vijay Anderson also completes Eneidi's Shattered trio, while prolific reedman Vinny Golia performs in duet with the bassist and has filled out a trio with the drummer in bassist Adam Lane's group on the excellent Zero Degree Music (CIMP, 2005). Although no recording date is given, a little internet research reveals that it was waxed in Fall 2010, presumably during one of Eneidi's regular forays back Stateside.
Even though all nine cuts are jointly credited to the quartet, the opening "Meteorites" suggests more focused intent than the average blow. After an urgent rumbling introduction, clarion blasts of roughhewn saxophone synchronicity pin the unsuspecting listener to the wall. Eneidi's repeated tumbling alto phrase acts as a touchstone for both him and Golia's snake charming sopranino. Sadly not everything can match this peak of intensity, excitement and purpose, as somewhat enigmatic atmospheric selections leaven the more brawny fare.
However, among the stronger numbers, Eneidi graces "Everything imaginable can be dreamed" with a fine statement in his thick treacley-toned alto vernacular, while Golia's chiseled tenor (the most expressive of the five reeds selected from his extensive arsenal) picks up pace to crest in a split-toned wail on "Prisoner of a gaudy and unlivable present," only to make his peace then ascend once more. Anderson demonstrates that less can be more, as he carefully demarcates the use of his small kit. That approach is well illustrated on "Lop-sided heels and frayed shoes," where he utilizes just his toms in a tuneful cascade in tandem with Eneidi's throaty alto saxophone animations, while on "Catholic comstocking smut-hound" his pulsating clatter meshes pleasingly with Mezzacappa's muscular counterpoint, by way of introducing a brace of frenetic orations by the horns. While not consistently compelling, there is enough here to intimate that a session by Eneidi's Shattered threesome would be well worth hearing.
Meteorites; Inessential melancholies; Everything imaginable can be dreamed; Deformities and discords; Pendulum; Fumbling fulminations; Prisoner of a gaudy and unlivable present; Lop-sided heels and frayed shoes; Catholic comstocking smut-hound.
Vinny Golia: tenor, soprano, sopranino saxophones, Bb and bass clarinets; Marco Eneidi: alto saxophone; Lisa Mezzacappa: acoustic bass; Vijay Anderson: drums.
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