124

Tom DeSteno & Bob Magnuson Quartet: Ready for Action

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
Aligned in sturdy opposition to those who would have you believe that free jazz is a played out and parsimonious pursuit, modern improvisatory maestros Magnuson and DeSteno deliver the goods in an album that lives up to the boast of its chosen title. The co-leaders exercise a disarming subterfuge on the opening “She’s Gone” as the band wastes no breath in firmly substantiating their credentials in the idiom. It’s a tune that opens slow and somber on the bed of DeSteno’s fluttering sticks only to quickly gain bite and steam as the horns enter and lock in a muscular embrace of spiraling harmonies. In tandem they beat a track through the roiling current of rhythm exuding both confidence and a clever willingness to stray from any sense of scripted course. Best of all even during their most boisterous and bent spouts of blowing the jazz core is not corrupted. Duval and DeSteno seem to similarly galvanized, the latter massaging his strings in bouts of lightening sharp strumming, the former beating up a regular racket that could never be construed as bathetic or routine. If there’s a downside to the date it’s roots also lie in the ensemble’s at times unchecked enthusiasm. Several of the numbers could have benefited from further rehearsals, but the blemishes of uncertain interplay are minor in the wake of the obvious passion unveiled.



But just who the hell are these guys anyway? There’s something to be said about a group’s obscurity when the highest profile member is the ever prolific, but grossly underappreciated Dominic Duval. Even rabid followers of creative improvised music can be forgiven for exhibiting blank stares at the mention of the joint leaders’ names. Truth told the pair have been working together for some time in a professional relationship that has thus far yielded four slices of recorded music. William Gagliardi, whose inaugural release this year also on CIMP was an early and well-deserving contender for critical accolades, steps up to the mic as the heavy horn to Magnuson’s straight one. The contrast in sounds is at once striking and supremely effective. “East Side” is as good an example as any where Gagliardi’s vibrato-soaked alto wraps around the ruddy register depths of Magnuson’s equally pathos-charged baritone. Jemeel Moondoc’s influence is gorgeously present in the former’s exhortations. The artist’s notes, a customary feather in the cap of all CIMP releases, are thick with testosterone and bravura. These fellows are keenly aware of their collective chops and chomping at the collective bit to exercise them.



CIMP discs are distributed directly through North Country Distributors and reachable on the web at: http://www.cadencebuilding.com


Track Listing: She’s Gone/ Fren Z/ East Side/ Dreaming Ghosts/ Open for Grabs/ Ships/ Winken/ Stormwatch.

Personnel: Tom DeSteno- drums; Bob Magnuson- tenor & baritone saxophones, wind synth; William Gagliardi- tenor & alto saxophones; Dominic Duval- bass. Recorded: August 27 & 28, 2001.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: CIMP Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "Motion" CD/LP/Track Review Motion
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 11, 2016
Read "Argonautica" CD/LP/Track Review Argonautica
by Troy Collins
Published: November 14, 2016
Read "A Multitude of Angels" CD/LP/Track Review A Multitude of Angels
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Harmonicus Rex" CD/LP/Track Review Harmonicus Rex
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 17, 2016
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by John Sharpe
Published: January 25, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!