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Kenbillou by ESATrio

Per the album notes, these three artists have respectively appeared on almost fifty CIMP recordings. Needless to state, they’re very busy folks and seldom - or perhaps never - fail to stimulate one’s aural senses and of course, the mind’s eye. With this 2008 endeavor, the musicians project a rather electrifying state of musical affairs via the all-acoustic instrumentation. And it’s a democratic engagement, where multi-reedman William Gagliardi spearheads a full-fledged sonic assault in concert with the rhythm’s section driving pulses that intermittently spark a rough and tumble panorama.

Unlike many freely improvised or semi-structured improv fests, these gents cover a host of multidimensional evolvements while acutely fusing counterpoint, pitch and a bit of tenderness into the overall dynamic. Simply stated, they cover quite a bit of terrain amid variable metrics. As the all-world rhythm section of drummer Lou Grassi and bassist Ken Filiano generally stay busy, yet profess an immensely productive musical environ. Hence, Gagliardi reaps bountiful dividends throughout.

On "Written in Water," Gagliardo lowers the temperature a bit via his rather pensive and soothing soprano sax lines during a loose and slow tempo jazz waltz groove. But they step up the pace and work through numerous intensity levels while soaring to the red zone during the up-tempo, free-bop number titled "The Last of the Beboppers." Here, Gagliardi’s bursting tenor sax phrasings are woven around the rhythm sections’ brisk pulse, as numerous sub-plots and mini-motifs are morphed into the grand schema.

Diversity is a key denominator as Filiano’s rugged arco lines ride atop Grassi’s crashing drum fills during "City Zen," which is a piece seemingly engineered upon angst and contentment. No doubt, the little band that boasts a huge sound and pliant methodology must have sent sparks all over the studio space during the predominance of this superfine session!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: ESATrio
  • CD Title: Kenbillou
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: CIMP
  • Musicians: Bill Gagliardi (alto, soprano & tenor sax), Ken Filiano (bass), Lou Grassi (drums, percussion)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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