Dave Glasser: Hypocrisy Democracy

Dan Bilawsky BY

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Dave Glasser: Hypocrisy Democracy
Something of a socio-political scythe—a title and tool cutting straight into the failing system that surrounds us—Hypocrisy Democracy is also a broad statement detailing the ceaselessly looping fallibility of man and his actions. It's saxophonist Dave Glasser's most probing work to date, bound to both our present state of affairs and the history it mirrors, and it's an album that, despite its bold conceit, actually needs no concept to latch itself onto. The music is that strong.

Leading a top-shelf quartet comprised of pianist Andy Milne, bassist Ben Allison and drummer Matt Wilson, the saxophonist is bold and forward in his actions. Best known for a string of stints with icons like trumpeter Clark Terry and saxophonist Illinois Jacquet, Glasser has often been painted as a traditionalist in the past. That notion is scattered to the winds here through the strength of thought in his horn work and the wisdom in his writing. The quirky "Knit Wit," opening with overdubbed saxophones in a back-and-forth with Wilson's drums, and possessing some snaking charms framed in post-modern quarters, is but the introduction to this most daring side of Glasser. The punctuated-turned-propulsive "Justice," giving pause to explore the many implications in its name, and the Coltrane-esque, weighted blue streaks of "Freedom," which finds Glasser sawing to the truth and the quartet temporarily working itself into a frenzy, each serve as further evidence of the questing spirit that invigorates the proceedings.

Glasser continues to use the music to deliver important reminders and cautionary tales in virtually every corner of the album. The funky, soprano-fronted "It's Nothing New" addresses history repeating itself after unraveling into a state of uncertainty and chaos. A one-by-one joining of voices on a curious, flute-centric arrangement of "It's a Small World"—the only non-original on the album—points to the greater truth in the song and a personal musical awakening in Glasser's own past. "Deep Dark," a Stygian seance taking some cues from the type of expressionistic candor that Billy Strayhorn could pen and Johnny Hodges could paint, deals in inky thoughts. And "Minor Madness," with passionate drive and a touch of Eddie Harris in its DNA, washes away the lunacy as an anomaly. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but a sign of hope nonetheless.

While the messages at the surface here are clear enough, the greater point that Glasser makes is one surrounding dialogue. A collection of music wholly conversant in nature, Hypocrisy Democracy wishes communication and exchange into the greater world, with an eventual goal of peace and sustainability at the end of the rainbow.

Track Listing

Knit Wit; Justice; It's Nothing New; Dilemonk; Coffee, Dogs, And Telelogs; It's a Small World; Freedom; Glee For Lee; Revolver; Deep Dark, Minor Madness.


Dave Glasser: saxophone; Andy Milne: piano; Ben Allison: bass, acoustic; Matt Wilson: drums.

Album information

Title: Hypocrisy Democracy | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Self Produced

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