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Day and Taxi: Live in Baden

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Day and Taxi: Live in Baden
With only seven releases over its 30 plus year history, the Swiss band Day & Taxi, led by saxophonist and composer Christoph Gallio, is not exactly over documented. That is a shame as it has been a consistently stimulating outfit which takes an expansive view of the free jazz tradition. Gallio has been the only constant of the group's existence, but the current incarnation since 2018 comprising bassist Silvan Jeger and celebrated American drummer, now residing in Switzerland, Gerry Hemingway persuades as one of the finest.

Gallio has developed his own distinctive voice in which his convoluted lines curl back on themselves and fragment in emotive frayed cries, at times bringing to mind Oliver Lake of World Saxophone Quartet fame with his angular leaps and, at yet one further remove, his inspiration Eric Dolphy. On "Faces" his soprano saxophone stutters occasionally recall his onetime teacher Steve Lacy.

Gallio wrote all the numbers on this album recorded in his hometown; these transport the trio to unfamiliar locales. Or is it the trio taking the tunes to pastures new? Probably a bit of both. Two of the nine cuts clock in below the one-minute mark, while only four run over six. While it is not surprising that the longer tracks put the improvisatory meat on the compositional bones, the shorter pieces nonetheless add both variety and novelty to the three-quarter hour program, notably on "Dieses Gedicht Erinnert Sich," where Jeger recites/sings over a jerky unison.

Of the longer selections, the opening "Tall Guy Blues" reveals the unit's appealing modus operandi. Jeger's carefree bass vamp first establishes the mood, before Hemingway tumbles in behind before Gallio layers a simple earthy saxophone motif, which gets stretched, compressed, twisted and finally left behind in the creation of the middle of a swirling vortex. It is a wonderful effect, made possible by Hemingway's peerless ability to shift from in to out so imperceptibly, and one they return to again, this time executed in microcosm, on the pithy "Kopfnuss."

While it may not break new ground, the threesome thrives on relaxed yet gripping interplay which is contrapuntal, supportive and most importantly, well worth hearing.

Track Listing

Tall Guy Blues; Infinite Sadness; Mare; Dieses Gedicht Erinnert Sich (Words by Thorsten Krämer); Kopfnuss; Faces; Too Much Nothing; Jimmy; Marina and the Lucky Pop Song Transformation.

Personnel

Christoph Gallio
saxophone, soprano
Silvan Jeger
bass, acoustic
Additional Instrumentation

Silvan Jeger voice & sequenzer

Album information

Title: Live in Baden | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records


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