Thursday, June 15, 2006

Day and Taxi

at The Red and The Black, 6/13/2006

Swiss jazz trio featuring Christoph Gallio (soprano & alto saxophone), Christian Weber (double-bass), and Michael Griener (drums). I think they're in the States now because of an appearance at this year's Vision festival in New York City. Lucky for us, they came to DC as well...

They played a collection of compositions by Gallio. Somewhat difficult to describe - his style is very thorny and fragmented. Very few lyrical passages or what might come off as "lines." Mostly skittering bursts of notes, but still with a very clear contour and logic. Much of the music is notated - it was hard to tell what was notated and what was improvised, with the exception of a few bass solos. The sax "solos" were much in the same style as the notated material. In some ways, Anthony Braxton comes to mind as a reference point, but the actual musical vocabulary is quite different. Sort of like post-classical music, mixed with the jazz idiom, put through an atom smasher, and then carefully notated.

The ensemble was very strong - really tight playing. The show proved to be an interesting composition lesson, although after a while a certain same-ness among the pieces became apparent. That's not necessarily a criticism -- just seems like Gallio has found a very specific niche to work in, and is exploring this narrow area in great detail.

The venue is quite nice - hopefully it will last, and continue to host cutting-edge music.

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