Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day & Taxi

I've had About by Day & Taxi sitting way down on my eMusic wish list for maybe a year.  It went on the list for the same reason as all its neighbors: The Penguin Guide to Jazz.  I am not sure quiet why I finally got around to it.  It may have had something to do with the beguiling photo on the cover.  At any rate, it is a real find, exactly the kind of thing you are going to like, if you like that sort of thing. 

Day & Taxi is a trio led by Swiss soprano saxophonist Christoph Gallio.  On the 1998 release, Dominique Girod plays bass and Dieter Ulrich is on drums.  Saxophone trios aren't common and do not seem to command a large audience.  They tend to empty the air around them like some ancient bard and lean heavily toward the moody and abstract.  Playing soprano sax does nothing to reverse the direction.  It is no wonder that sax trios almost always play avant garde jazz. 

On the other hand, I cannot thing of another sort of jazz combo that is so perfect for weaving a muscular narrative.  Ken Vandermark's DKV trio, which I reviewed recently, is a good example.  When a fine sax trio gets going on a theme, it can generate drama faster than a drum and flute with a real, live army behind 'em.  I thought that About is the closest anyone has come to catching up with the genius of Steve Lacy.  I put the best cut on the album, 'Madagaskar', up on my Jazz Note station.  You could pass it off as a Lacy trio.  The same is true of most of the cuts.  

Day & Taxi is a marvelous trio, well worth your while.  Gallio is a very thoughtful storyteller.  Girod and Ulrich provide a lot of thunder and tremor at all the dramatic moments.  This is splendid avant garde jazz. 

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