Saxophonist William Gagliardi writes songs with a free jazz posture and a hard bop conscience, a duality which sometimes leads to a kind of psychic split at the middle of a tune. There are various examples of this on Gagliardi's quintet release Memories of Tomorrow. The discourse and tonality between Gagliardi's tenor and John Carlson's trumpet on "Coup d'etat follies recalls Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. Ken Wessel's almost subliminal guitar is the wheel's axle and Lou Grassi's relentless drumming brings to mind Elvin Jones' interplay with Coltrane.
"Let's Play has a cool vamp at the top following the tandem horn intro, Wessel's sparkling economy giving the horns extra elbow room. Gagliardi's vehement alto takes no prisoners as Carlson's trumpet spurs him on. The military march coda that ends the tune sounds forced, however, as if the band couldn't bear to release the song on its own recognizance.
Gagliardi's tenor and Carlson's trumpet dance with measured intensity on the title cut. "Cosmic Monster is an irresistible toe-tapper where the band shows its sense of humor by inserting a Latin melody in the midst of Grassi's percussive highlights and Gagliardi's elephantine blasts. Dave Hofstra's brooding pizzicato bass sets the mood for the spare but memorable "The Key to the Gates.
Grassi's open-the-damn-door drumming, Wessel's elfin guitar swirls and Gagliardi's unbridled alto define the funky "The Question Unanswered. Memories of Tomorrow is a feast for the ears, a sumptuous offering from the man known as Billy Gags.
Track Listing: Coup d'état Follies; Let's Play; Memories of Tomorrow; Cosmic Monster; The Key to the Gates; The Question Unanswered.
Personnel: William Gagliardi: alto, soprano & tenor saxophones; John Carlson: trumpet, pocket trumpet; Ken Wessel: guitar; Dave Hofstra: bass; Lou Grassi: drums.
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.