171

Stephen Gauci Trio: Substratum

By

Sign in to view read count
Stephen Gauci Trio: Substratum Perhaps no combination of instrument and style carries the predictability of the free jazz tenor saxophone and it's to Stephen Gauci's abiding credit that he manages both to embody a tradition and refresh it at every turn. The over-the-top blowout is, of course, part of Gauci's vocabulary. Eventually it will all show up: mystical yipping onslaughts, Pharoah-esque polyphonic bursts, the Ayler birth wail, the split-tones and multiphonics—everything that's made the tenor the expressionist's instrument of choice. But it's all deployed with the subtlest and most supple intelligence and there are contrasts that can startle.

Gauci makes effective use of the short heads he's fabricated here, using composition to delineate emotional zones clearly, areas of tonal concentration and rhythmic impetus, creating variety and depth at every turn and hinting at internalized voices from shakuhachi to swing. Sonny Rollins was likely part of Gauci's stylistic formation and he can build a solo out of well-placed and varied micro-figures, whether in compound dialogues with his partners—bassist Mike Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen, or traveling his own path through the surging rhythmic fields. It's often his introspective side that's most arresting. On "One That Got Away," Gauci lowers his volume almost to silence, using it to build drama and assemble meaning. The beautiful "Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness" feels both impassioned and somehow suppressed.

His sound is highly personal and flexible, at times a kind of twisted cry, an intense, warbling, yet muffled sound that carries as much feeling as any sound might. Along with his previous CIMP CDs and his 2007 Clean Feed date Nididhyasana, Substratum confirms that Gauci is among the most significant tenor saxophonists to emerge in recent years.


Track Listing: Threshold; Waking Down; Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness; Startling Suchness; This Cannot Be Lost; Song of Sundaram; Substratum; One That Got Away; When My Day Comes; The Dead Can Only Live; Here and Now.

Personnel: Stephen Gauci: tenor saxophone; Michael Bisio: bass; Jay Rosen: drums.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: CIMP Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Parallax" CD/LP/Track Review Parallax
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 21, 2016
Read "Resolution" CD/LP/Track Review Resolution
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Hear & Now" CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Kucheza" CD/LP/Track Review Kucheza
by Chris Mosey
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "Magic Light" CD/LP/Track Review Magic Light
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 25, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!