The Gypsy Schaeffer of New Orleans fame was a bordello where, of course, music could be heard, including the live and in-person sounds of jazz legend Jelly Roll Morton, among others. The Gypsy Schaeffer of Boston is a pianoless quartet featuring trombonist Joel Yennior (of Either/Orchestra fame), saxophonist Andy Voelker, bassist Jef Charland and drummer Chris Punis.
Lineups without a chording instrumenteg. piano or guitarallow groups more freedom, often making for a more elastic and freewheeling sound. On Portamental, Gypsy Schaeffer makes the most of the freedom, but still remains melodically engaging.
When you mention "pianoless quartet," the two seminal ensembles that most readily come to mind are baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan's groups with trumpeter Chet Baker; and Ornette's early groups with trumpeter Don Cherry. Gypsy Schaeffer dances back and forth on the borderline on that mainstream-Mulligan/freedom-Coleman spectrum, leaning in Mulligan's direction, with definite forays into Coleman territory. This recording varies from tune to tune, but to the cool, fluid Mulligan flow trades off with more frenetic and out-there interludes.
Freshness and spontaneity reign on Portamental. The tunes, all originals, find each band member taking up the pen, and the disc was recorded in one day last June. The music these four players made that day has an off-the-cuff, good-times feeling, with infusions of intensityI note, as I listen to the Chris Punis-penned "Ugly Hand," with saxophonist Voelker burning.
While the Mulligan and Coleman bands provide useful reference points, Gypsy Schaeffer really has an original approacha distinctive, modern-leaning sound all its own.
Under Construction; Mummer's Day; Faces in the Sand; Time Management; Sleep; Ponus
Ridge; 01; Schemin'; Ugly Hand; Portamental.
Andy Voelker: saxophones; Joel Yennior: trombone; Jef Charland: bass; Chris Punis: drums.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.