Joe Giardullo Open Ensemble | Red Morocco | RogueArt Jazz

Someday someone will write a history of modern music that will free us of the false dichotomies such as high vs. low, improviser vs. composer, classical vs. everything else… …The written materials Joe passed out to the musicians for Red Morocco was minimal, sometimes more visual than musical, but always modest. Everyone was seated in the same room, in a circle. The music heard on this recording occurred late in the day, when Joe felt a certain clarity was occurring… …The results are an elegant, shimmering, ringing music, like colors spiking across the plane of a Monet canvas, or spinning like a piece of Calder’s kinetic art; a constantly evolving, deeply sonic performance, collectively improvised, and decentered; a self-organizing musical system, with minimal input or constraints from outside. Giardullo is willing into existence a music that occurs beyond his control. This means he has to surround himself with musicians who are accomplished, but also open, free to take chances, and willing to be themselves, no matter what. — John Szwed, excerpt from the liner notes. Continue reading

Joe Giardullo | Weather | Not Two Records

Solo soprano saxophone albums in so-called free improv are surprisingly frequent these days (think Alessandro Bosetti, John Butcher, Stéphane Rives, Michel Doneda…) but in jazz they’re still relatively rare, probably because the musicians concerned don’t exactly relish being compared to Steve Lacy, whose work still remains something a benchmark in the genre, albeit an idiosyncratic one. In fact the distinction I’m trying to draw is a rather silly, maybe even nonexistent one, insofar as three of the four pieces on offer on Weather are marked as Joe Giardullo “compositions” (though they sound pretty open and improvised to me). The fourth track though is most definitely a composition, and a well-known one too: Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” (rather sloppy titling, that: in fact it’s “Acknowledgment”). Giardullo, taking advantage of an intimate acoustic and attentive audience in Cracow’s Klub Re (home base for Not Two’s Marek Winiarski), seeks to lift Coltrane’s work gingerly down from the ridiculously high pedestal on which it’s been placed over recent years and return it to the domain of the personal, the introspective. Dan Warburton Continue reading