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Curtis + Garabedian + Sperrazza: New Year

Dan Bilawsky By

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This is a compelling slice of Brooklyn unburdened. With no real restrictions, stratification, expectations or requirements to speak of, three friends and fellow seekers document their truth(s) in sound. Burrowing into their shared experiences in the Borough of Kings, and discovering tunnels and wormholes in the process, they come out on the other end with music that's as pure in spirit as it is honest to the improviser's art.

This trio collective comprised of saxophonist Caleb Curtis, bassist Noah Garabedian, and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza is as open as they come, but it's worth noting that it doesn't operate without a compass. There's form and direction to be found in the music and clear intentions behind the art. Opener "That Which Cannot Be Replaced," with its tethering bass ostinato juxtaposed against an exploratory outlook, serves as a solid introduction to this trio's craft. Then the follow-up—"Vinnoa," a sly and devious game of bob-and-weave—goes one better, balancing the use of puckish play and connective strains.

As this project builds in scope, there's beauty in the realization that, despite architectural integrity, these three aren't aiming to aim at anything. They find joy in the act of creating without riding a current, giving in to need, or subscribing to want. Curtis + Garabedian + Sperrazza may have a free-minded performance titled "Lose Ourselves In Artifice," but this group never actually goes into that titular realm. Instead, these men look elsewhere with stellar results. On the brush-covered "Only Happy When I'm Haunted" the trio explores a spacious abode with a sense of cool. With "Fred's Hop" Garabedian gets everybody into the groove. In "Cleveland" the group catalogs contentment in various forms. And during "Tiramisu For Two" this crew puts the tea to the side and lets a wide beat quench its collective thirst in some gorgeously dry surroundings.

Whether tossing off a miniature avant-garde love letter, stretching an original composition into various shapes and dimensions, or paying tribute to Leadbelly with an "In The Pines" sendoff, Caleb Curtis, Noah Garabedian, and Vinnie Sperrazza are right where they belong: with each other, in the land of unfettered imagination.

Track Listing: Caleb Curtis: saxophone; Noah Garabedian: bass; Vinnie Sperrazza: drums.

Personnel: That Which Cannot Be Replaced; Vinnoa; Only Happy When I'm Haunted; Fred's Hop; Lose Ourselves In Artifice; Cleveland; New Year; The Clubhouse; Tiramasu For Tea; In The Pines.

Title: New Year | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Outside In Music

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