235

Stephen Gauci: Absolute, Absolutely and CIMP 360: Circle This

By

Sign in to view read count








Stephen Gauci Quartet
Absolute, Absolutely
CIMP
2008


Michael Bisio Quartet
CIMP 360: Circle This
CIMP
2008




More than 250 recordings have been issued on producer/owner/impresario/liner notes writer Bob Rusch's CIMP label. You can imagine how that number of sessions would result in a broad range of creative improvisation from variously sized groups and all manner of instrumentation; from stark minimalist free jazz to straight-ahead melodicism and everything in between. Despite a well-established reputation for quality, however, and a substantial quantity of titles available, many of the artists Rusch champions are under-recognized, even in jazz circles.

In the notes to Absolute, Absolutely, Rusch says that tenor saxophonist Stephen Gauci had gone unrecorded to age 35. That doesn't make Gauci (born 1966) an elder statesman, but it is surprising that a player with his creative energy and melodic sensibility has managed to reside so long in the margins. Gauci leads a pianoless trio (completed by old pros Ken Filiano on bass and Lou Grassi on drums, along with relative youngster Nate Wooley on trumpet) through a program of tightly composed and seriously performed originals. A rewarding, easy interplay among the musicians and a feeling of camaraderie comes through Gauci's compositions. Wooley's casual brilliance and controlled passion perfectly complements Gauci's individuality of tone and cut after cut, Gauci instinctively balances the heart of the song with its inherent improvisational limits.

Gauci plays one of the tenors in bassist Michael Bisio's pianoless quartet heard on CIMP 360: Circle This, a session characterized by a palpable tension that, according to Rusch's liner notes, flared up in the band during recording. "Its Own Universe," a duo exchange between Gauci and the second tenor, Avram Fefer (who doubles on soprano), builds to a feverish back-and-forth but stops short of overblowing. "Nitro, Don't Leave Home Without It" lives up to its name through an outpouring of ideas from both horns and irrespective of tempo, the band leans in. There's more intensity in "By Any Other Name" than in a dozen other run-of-the-mill jazz performances and after "The Fighting," any peace this rough-and-tumble band finds is well earned.


Tracks and Personnel

Absolute, Absolutely

Tracks: No Good Asking Me, I Won't Speak; Absolute, Absolutely; Who to Hear? (Who Hears?); Mistake After Mistake; Nothing Back Here (I Can't Find a Thing); Like the Earth Always Under; Wei Wu's Way; Beautiful This Fake Dream.

Personnel: Stephen Gauci: tenor saxophone; Nate Wooley: trumpet; Ken Filiano: bass; Lou Grassi: drums, percussion.

CIMP 360: Circle This

Tracks: Circle This; Its Own Universe; By Any Other Name; Island Circus; Times That Bond; Nitro, Don't Leave Home Without It; The Fighting; CRT.

Personnel: Stephen Gauci: tenor saxophone; Nate Wooley: trumpet; Ken Filiano: bass; Lou Grassi: drums, percussion.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio Multiple Reviews The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 12, 2017
Read Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment Multiple Reviews Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 2, 2017
Read Roots In The Green Mountains Multiple Reviews Roots In The Green Mountains
by Doug Collette
Published: July 29, 2017
Read Green Mountain Jazz Multiple Reviews Green Mountain Jazz
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Guitars on Three Continents Multiple Reviews Guitars on Three Continents
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana Multiple Reviews Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana
by James Nadal
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Paul Kelly: Seven Sonnets & A Song and Death's Dateless Night" Multiple Reviews Paul Kelly: Seven Sonnets & A Song and Death's...
by Doug Collette
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Emanem Tidies Up" Multiple Reviews Emanem Tidies Up
by John Eyles
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Blues Spotlight: Robert Finley / Donald Jay Johnson And Gas Blues Band / The King Brothers" Multiple Reviews Blues Spotlight: Robert Finley / Donald Jay Johnson And Gas...
by James Nadal
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana" Multiple Reviews Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana
by James Nadal
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Mysteries Of The Deep and Binary from Brian (Shankar) Adler" Multiple Reviews Mysteries Of The Deep and Binary from Brian (Shankar) Adler
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas" Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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