3

Nick Gianni's Evolution: Nick Gianni's Evolution

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Saxophonist Nick Gianni's Evolution is a latter day fusion band, forged in the fires of New York's downtown scene. Nublu—an off-the-beaten-path club in Alphabet City—served as the incubator for this group, as it blends funk, electronica, free jazz and worldly influences to come up with a style all its own.

The music on its self-titled CD is built around the steady pillars of drummer Dalius Naujokaitis and bassist Dmitry Ishenko, who provide an ever-funky bottom, upon which the rest of the band can build. They deliver hiccupping grooves ("Dharma Clouds") and semi-static backdrops that hold everything in place, but they don't simply dispense the same patterns ad infinitum. They allow the contextual shifts of the music to be their guide as they consistently communicate and make small adjustments.

Gianni's potent horn work provides most of the thrills here. He balances melodicism with outré frenzied abandon ("Crap Shot") and comes across like a '60s firebrand who also enjoys the work of Morphine's Dana Colley ("Tritone County"). He's occasionally content to just meld with Rick Bottari's shimmering keys, but he sounds best when making a ruckus all by himself.

The first five tracks on this short album are all cut from similar cloth, but the closing "Gone Gone Completely Gone" is a stylistic departure built on a faux-Asian foundation. Koto-like sounds introduce the tune and the band slowly paints over a stark and empty canvas. Sounds are slowly layered until all parties involved are adding to the song's loose and exotic backdrop. While the inclusion of this number at the end of the album may seem a bit odd, considering the steady and largely unchanging diet that comes before, it proves to be a wise choice that demonstrates this isn't a one-dimensional outfit.

Nick Gianni's Evolution isn't likely to start a revolution with its music, but the group has developed its own engaging sound, put it out there with passion and purpose; two things that are sorely lacking in many an album today.

Track Listing: Dharma Clouds; Cosmotronica; Tritone County; Whateva Man; Crap Shot; Gone Gone Completely Gone.

Personnel: Nick Gianni: saxophone, flute; Rick Bottari: Rhodes, synthesizer; On Ka'a Davis: space guitar; Dmitry Ishenko: bass; Dalius Naujokaitis: drums.

Title: Nick Gianni's Evolution | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "The Wrong Waltz" CD/LP/Track Review The Wrong Waltz
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "Parking Lot Symphony" CD/LP/Track Review Parking Lot Symphony
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Heavy Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Dance
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear Completely)" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear...
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "14.11.2016" CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.