Christoph Gallio’s Day & Taxi are a sharp-looking enigma. Obviously linked to jazz and elastic derivations thereof, they play halfway through factuality and audacity with a light-heartedness that totally excludes terms of bleeding sanctification. Their music may be free or composed, but it sounds composed – meaning calm and collected – even when quirky idiosyncrasies begin to appear in unheralded spurts, perhaps following a segment with a couple of notes or a straightforward pattern pushing the “instant comprehension” button.
Artists – released in 2014 – is a double CD; there’s no risk whatsoever of getting bored, though. Indeed one could almost consider it as a suite, a timbral and stylistic continuity balancing its active practicality. In 30 tracks we find 20-second hints, fully fledged pieces, and – especially – improvisations that start, stop, start again and finally leave us with a question mark stamped on the forehead. Poker-faced paradoxes and instrumental exactitude are central in Gallio’s articulation, partially referable to Steve Lacy’s angular explicitness. Also essential in this context is the trio’s mastery of spacing: each note emerges in a given place to follow a definite dialectic, typically transparent designs materializing inside uncluttered perspectives. The musicians generate room for the mind to breathe before and after the pitches, thus warranting the listener the same lucidity that permeates the interplay. Bassist Silvan Jeger and drummer David Meier are not mere collaborators; they supply contrapuntal accuracy and creative brainpower in large quantities, allowing the melodically munificent, reed-brandishing leader to glide and float all around.