251

Gianni Gebbia / Lukas Ligeti / Massimo Pupillo: The Williamsburg Sonatas

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
By Ken Waxman

Lukas Ligeti's background encompasses jazz, avant-rock, and contemporary composition, and he eases that experience into his playing. Massimo Pupillo is an electric bassist with the Italian noise rock band Zu who has collaborated with everyone from avant folkie Eugene Chadbourne to former Can singer Damo Suzuki, not to mention Chicago reedist Ken Vandermark. Luckily his baggage here includes the rhythm, but not the stultifying beat of pop music.

Meanwhile, Sicilian alto saxophonist Gianni Gebbia is a free jazz player who adapts the musical sounds of the Mediterranean to his work with his own bands and alliances advanced with fellow improvisers in locales such as California's San Francisco Bay area. Working in a style that draws from Ornette Coleman as well as seaside balladeers, the alto saxophonist invests these tunes with techniques that range from tongue stops and altissimo smears to pitch-vibrated growls and smeared flutter tonguing.

Ligeti's accompaniment encompasses ruffs, bounces, strokes and drags. He can sound a backbeat as well as any rocker; introduce unique timbres from drum tops, claves and wood blocks that relate to the beats advanced from so-called primordial players; or alter stick-on-stick pulses and rim shots to resemble the inventions of musique concrète. And ranging from R&B-style thumb pops, claw-hammer frailing, rhythmic strums and jazzy fills, Pupillo's electric bass style provides whatever pulse is necessary for each tune. Somehow he's capable of producing arco-like wave forms, but as a rule he mostly confides himself to timekeeping, allowing the other two foreground freedom. Making the most of this, the saxophonist undulates straight lines, squeals with glottal punctuation, pushes almost-inaudible air through his bell, and negotiates unvarying tongue stops.

Climax comes with the almost ten-minute "Some Disordered Interior Geometrics." With the bassist holding straight to the center with ringing tones, the piece unrolls in a welter of surging sax lines and cross-patterning from the percussion. Briefly straying into ethnic music, Pupillo sounds timbres that could come from a lotar or Berber lute, and Gebbia completes the incursion in similar non-Western fashion. Expelling snaky obbligatos and tongue slaps at the same time, he manages to express the exposition and its development simultaneously. With more use of the location than the sonata's classic form, the three have managed to produce a memorable recording.


Track Listing: Ararchytecture; Pay for Soup; Some Disordered Interior Geometrics; Hollenberg Pony Express; Golf; Vertical Journey; Logic of the Birds; Hollywood, Palermo.

Personnel: Gianni Gebbia: alto saxophone; Massimo Pupillo: bass; Lukas Ligeti: drums.

Title: The Williamsburg Sonatas | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Wallace Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Ariel CD/LP/Track Review Ariel
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Fukushima CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "This Is The Uplifting Part" CD/LP/Track Review This Is The Uplifting Part
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Taking Direction" CD/LP/Track Review Taking Direction
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House" CD/LP/Track Review 92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "May I Introduce To You" CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "Sailors' Tales 1970-1972" CD/LP/Track Review Sailors' Tales 1970-1972
by John Kelman
Published: November 11, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor