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A resident of the San Francisco Bay area, saxophonist/composer and overall free thinker, Dan Plonsey has studied with Anthony Braxton, attended Yale University, written Operas while also a member of Eugene Chadbourne’s West Coast version of “Insect & Western. On Open Door and Desire Mr. Plonsey, exhibits his aesthetic and thoroughly imaginative talents as he performs several pieces that comprise multi-tracked saxophones along with his intermittent employment of delightfully cheesy electric keyboards. No doubt, Plonsey is a creative soul who possesses a Renaissance spirit, which is evident from the opening seconds of “The Superhero of Shirts”. Here, Plonsey performs solo saxophone intermingled with simplistic childlike banter....weird, bizarre yet a fitting intro to an unorthodox affair!
Plonsey’s astute layering and multi-tracking of his saxophone performances while at times symphonic in appearance actually translate into thoughtful and well-constructed compositions. Plonsey’s utilization of various saxophones at times produces music that seems liquid or elastic coupled with the oddball dashes of humor and wit. Here and throughout, Plonsey provides the listener with interludes or perhaps intermissions as he plays an electric keyboard which has that 70’s “cocktail lounge” feel, or reminiscent of an old Saturday Night Live skit featuring comic Bill Murray. On “Zali, Dali and Eggplant Thali”, Plonsey offers a change of pace while performing a soft, straightforward quasi-samba ballad along with processed drums and keyboards that segues into a large scale WSQ-style motif featuring more of his skillful multi-tracked sax choruses. “Open Door Triangle Fire” is a textured and quite frantic free-jazz piece as Plonsey pursues circular movement along with echo and reverb treatments.
We need to re-emphasize here, that Plonsey’s - layering of saxophones - approach indicates a whole lot more than someone just tinkering around in the studio at the listener’s expense. These are strong, solid and altogether intelligent compositions as Mr. Plonsey graciously welcomes us into his very diverse and at times unusual musical world .....Recommended listening! * * * *
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.