Let’s reiterate what I’ve meant to say for a while. It’s not like we’ve been listening to that much really satisfying jazz lately. Apart from the personalities imposed by the official media regime (no need to mention names; their visages, the ongoing accolades, and the relentless plugs they receive fill a reviewer’s email inbox similarly to a scary blob), what’s noticed is a lack of vitality and brilliance in general. That special something that makes listeners perk their ears with an inside grin. Instead, even in the supposedly most unfettered movements, we have sadly reached the “acceptable stereotype” level. Not always, thankfully. But still.
Having said that, in terms of his artistic ability, Swiss reedist Christoph Gallio never connives to deceive but, in a way, comforts us (the fact that he loves cats, as this writer does, is already an indication). Run, The Darkness Will Come! follows the excellent trend, solidifying itself in the top ranks as far as Day & Taxi’s releases are concerned. Indeed, I can’t remember ever hearing an album of theirs that wasn’t at the very least interesting. In essence, this one features tracks of clever jazz that take advantage of Gallio’s natural gift for unconstrained linearity as a springboard for excursions through scenarios tinged with elements of enchantingly démodé rock vamps (take a bow, bassist Silvan Jeger!), as well as equally sagacious improvisation and quasi-chamber miniatures based on poetry by various authors (including the late Steve Dalachinsky).
This brand of music, rather than being described, should be heard with the aerials fully up, and absorbed by a listener who is conversant in the proposed language and operating at the same frequency as the artists. It was also danced to in my case (try it to believe… at some points you will not be able to resist those hidden terpsichorean instincts). Gallio may be a kind man who treasures his alto, soprano, and C-melody saxophones; but when he’s nervous, he can become nearly angry. That’s when a hybrid “Ornette Lacy” monster emerges for everyone to enjoy (see “Corinne”, or “Abra Palavra”). On both electric and acoustic bass, the aforementioned Jeger, who can also sing when necessary, possesses a blend of elegance and punch that allows us to taste his lines physically as he anchors the performance difficulties to his never clumsy or overly exhibitionist presence. Gerry Hemingway breaks rhythms and distributes coloring on the different drum skins like few others, in a combination of restraint and underground seismic vibration. Hear what I mean by putting on headphones, and sensing the bass drum’s resonance in the chest. Fabulous stuff.
In a nutshell, terrific musicianship, compositional concepts that are everything except dull, and an hour that, even on successive listens, goes by swiftly. These three gentlemen are beyond further request.