Joe Giardullo: Weather, No Work Today & Falling Water


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Joe Giardullo
Not Two

Recorded during Giardullo's tenure as an artist-in-residence at Warsaw's Contemporary Arts Center, Weather features Giardullo solo at Krakow's Klub Re. It is in many ways difficult to get past the precedents for a solo soprano recording; Steve Lacy's Monk-with-trills and Evan Parker's breath-defying sound sculptures are an obvious reference point. Yet Weather equally paints a picture of Giardullo that owes little to predecessors; fast runs and wide vibrato might on paper belie an adherence to the post-Ayler tradition that Joe McPhee mines, while the lengthy pinched tones are a drawn-out soliloquy on Lacy at his most metallic. Giardullo is getting into something else, as in "Channeling , taking phrase fragments that might belie historical starting points and bending them, twisting an AACM-inspired arrangement into an investigation that takes specificity as its primary ingredient, a nursery rhyme spun into lengthy harmonics. The title track begins with a Lacy-esque movement, though Giardullo quickly takes a detour into sharp, biting tones and multiphonics amid huge voids, sonically condensed yet spread out in a way that isn't quite like any of his straight-horn kin. Weather is microcosmic and rather than harping on a phrase fragment, Giardullo will take the fragment and break it into even smaller parts, delving into what makes the sound and the mechanics of the instrument create that very phrase.

Joe Giardullo
No Work Today

No Work Today is Giardullo's homage to Steve Lacy, with whom the younger reedman played in 2004. To listen to Weather, one gets a picture of Giardullo's deep-listening interests, the way a piece of a phrase can be mined for its purely sonic possibilities. No Work Today is an entirely different exercise in instrumental possibility, for it is an investigation into phrases and organization, motifs rather than pure sound. Lacy tunes like "Prospectus and "Hurtles are starting points for an extension of Lacy's idiom somewhere into another place on the soprano spectrum, while Giardullo opens with a composition based on Monk's "Work (the title track, its namesake a piece that yielded many Lacy improvisations). Giardullo takes the quirks and snips that Lacy provides and rather than spacing them out, breaking them or bending them (which might be the obvious choice), builds long spiraling lines that are not only more dense than one might expect, but also hit Lacy on another point of the harmonic spectrum entirely. In other words, rather than dissonant voicings and metrical movement, Giardullo appears to be searching for something almost modal. No Work Today pays homage to something similar to the open door that Monk provided for Lacy, namely a view to the other side.

Joe Giardullo
Falling Water

Recorded in Lisbon in the summer of 2003, shortly before Giardullo began to concentrate more explicitly on solo activity, Falling Water captures the reedman in duet with veteran Portuguese violin improviser Carlos Z'-ngaro. In addition to his regular axe, Giardullo is featured on alto saxophone and piccolo through the course of seven interwoven duets. In a similar fashion to deep-listening guru Pauline Oliveros' work, Falling Water takes as its cue the possibilities of architectural space (and, to a greater degree, environment) and sound. Just as Oliveros has organized the recording of improvisers within a cistern, so Zingaro and Giardullo are caught within the vast chamber of Mãe de Agua, a component of Lisbon's 18th-century aqueducts. Violin and reeds are in constant play with the lengthy natural reverb of the space, improvising with one another as well as the echoes provided by each player in context, a situation of self-response compounded upon initial activity creating layers of improvisational possibility. Long, sonorous tones are posed and echoed, as Zingaro's violin scrabbles on top of itself and circular breathing becomes an infinite array of sonic links. Water and its own echo create yet another aural-environmental layer within the improvisations, providing a locator as well as an auditory underpinning. One cannot listen to Falling Water as one does most duet improvisations, for the vast amount of sonic layering that takes place makes the recording less about for-itself immediacy and more greatly about specific, spatial interaction.

Visit Joe Giardullo on the web.


Personnel: Joe Giardullo (ss, as*, picc*)

Track Listing: Channeling - Weather - Times Change - A Love Supreme

No Work Today

Personnel: Joe Giardullo (ss, as*, picc*)

Track Listing: No Work Today - Prospectus - Which Way - Not Good - Mr. Ioso's Walk - Sentiments - The Touch - Hurtles - Dotty

Falling Water

Personnel: Joe Giardullo (ss, as*, picc*), Carlos Zingaro* (vln)

Track Listing: Sal - Astrolabio - Fala - No - Pedra - Per Plexo - Distancia


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