It's a rare pleasure to hear a musician warming up their instruments preceding a live performance. How magical to eavesdrop on a saxophonist breathing out unaccompanied scales and unguarded creative lines in an empty club as the notes echo off the walls.
Stephen Gauci Trio Long Night Waiting Cadence 2005
The near 40-year old New Yorker Stephen Gauci has a deep, warm, buzzing tone on tenor sax that creates such a personal vibe that you feel as if you are the only audience member listening in, particularly on one of his two most recent studio releases, Long Night Waiting. The seven tunes (four of which hover around the ten-minute mark) comprise a CD of collectively composed and/or spontaneously and empathetically improvised pieces featuring Michael Bisio (bass) and Jay Rosen (drums). They equally touch the most mainstream of listeners as well as open-eared music fans in a session that showcases organically driven trio performances. Highlights are the ever-subtle, masterful cymbal/gong/percussion work of drummer Rosen as well as Bisio's always moving though patiently creative pizzicato bass lines and astounding multi-layered arco playing, up there with some of the great contemporary innovators of experimental arco including Mark Dresser and Henry Grimes.
Stephen Gauci Trio First, Keep Quiet Cadence 2005
First, Keep Quiet, a bit more in your face, carries with it extended time-kept grooves with rhythmic contributions by Todd Nicholson (bass) and Jeremy Carlstedt (drums). A different compositional concept is also utilized, as "From the First, Not A Thing Is is the only group improv on the entire CD and exploits what seems to be Gauci's greatest strength: music of the moment. Other than "What's New , a nice interpretation given to the sole jazz standard, nine hard-driving Gauci originals help to give a more well-rounded picture of a saxophonist deserving of more attention.
Long Night Waiting
Track Listing: 1.Long Night Waiting (9:29); 2.Across the Bridge (6:40); 3.Ghosts (They Dance) (9:57); 4.All Cool (Whistling in the Dark) (10:53); 5.Runaway Thought (3:30); 6.Another Alert (6:42); 7.It's the Times (10:46)
Personnel: Stephen Gauci: tenor sax; Mike Bisio: bass; Jay Rosen: drums
First, Keep Quiet
Track Listing: 1.First Keep Quiet (5:23); 2.Neither Free Nor Bound (9:02); 3.Otolarynology (3:39); 4.What's New (5:51); 5.Better Wake Up Now (8:30); 6.From the First, Not a Thing Is (10:27); 7.Mighty Jerem-I (6:05); 8.This (5:13); 9.Emptiness (8:34); 10.The Reaper (7:09); 11.Thy Daily Grinder (3:35)
Personnel: Stephen Gauci: tenor saxophone; Todd Nicholson: bass; Jeremy Carlstedt: drums
I met Erroll Garner at The Theatrical Grill in Cleveland a few hours before our family was to see him on stage at Severance Hall. That was 45 years ago and I was only 15! I spotted him nearby in a booth wearing a beautiful tux with a great white napkin draped over him! I was a little nervous as I approached him (he was eating shrimp cocktail) and said, Mr
I met Erroll Garner at The Theatrical Grill in Cleveland a few hours before our family was to see him on stage at Severance Hall. That was 45 years ago and I was only 15! I spotted him nearby in a booth wearing a beautiful tux with a great white napkin draped over him! I was a little nervous as I approached him (he was eating shrimp cocktail) and said, Mr. Garner, I love playing the piano... is there any advice you could give me?'' He hesitated, then looked back at me and said, Keep playin' and don't stop!'' That was great advice because at 60 years old, I'm still playin' and haven't stopped!