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Stephen Gauci - Live at Glenn Miller Café

Bruce Lee Galanter, DMG Newsletter

It is always a blast to hear downtown tenor sax great Steve Gauci, especially in a new setting with not one, but two Scandinavian quartets. Gauci has already worked and recorded with The Thing & Scorch Trio bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on that amazing Clean Feed disc 'Nidihyansana' from last year recorded here at DMG.
Magnus Broo has worked with Ingebrigt in Brötzmann's Chicago Tentet as well as with playing in Atomic School Days. Steve composed all but one song here, a cover of Sonny Rollins' "Sonnymoon for Two".

For the opener, "No Color of Its Own," Steve has found some strong yet subtle like-minded players. Steve's tenor and Mats' trombone simmer together quietly, while the bass and drums play skeletally underneath. Both Steve on tenor and Mats on trombone take great slowly burning laid back solos that get more intense as the rhythm starts to erupt in the second half of this long piece.
What I dig most about this is that even when the quartet is playing free, they remain tight, focused and consistently spirited. In the middle of "Talk Whatever Comes," the quartet suddenly break into a great groove and swing hard for a bit before the spin into more freer terrain. It seems like a most natural flow to what has come before and what comes after.
Trombonist, Mats Äleklint, is someone with whom I was not previously familiar, but here he is a truly a creative and feisty partner who can and does spar with Gauci, the two pushing each other higher and higher.
The rhythm team is also consistently on target, swirling powerfully together and around one another amazingly well throughout.

On disc 2, Magnus Broo, who can be heard with Ken Vandermark on '4 Corners' (Clean Feed) as well as with Atomic School Days, is yet another gifted player. Magnus spews forth furious streams of notes that would give Peter Evans a run for his money.
Again the quartet flows together tightly up and down valleys and mountains, spinning together as one strong force of nature.

Two excellent and inspired quartet dates on all counts.

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