Joe Giardullo

Primal Intentions

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Joe Giardullo has talent to spare, and this recording is one of the best examples of his improvisatory skills. The reedist has labored somewhat under the shadow of multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, with whom Giardullo has performed regularly and is sometimes identified. Bisio recorded with McPhee in duo, and the bassist is a natural partner for an accomplished saxophonist: his rich tone, considerable listening skills, and effective use of space encourage a wind player to relax. Throughout, Giardullo incorporates some of McPhee's magic, but careful listeners will also hear the influence of Evan Parker, particularly when, as on "Thermal Vent," Giardullo uses advanced techniques to make his soprano sound as though two horns are going at once. Ultimately these free improvisations are about sound and its relationships: how notes and timbres interact, how personal expression between two talented players is negotiated. All the pieces are originals except for Ornette Coleman's classic "Lonely Woman," which is played by Bisio alone slowly and passionately, only alluding to the melody. There are no liner notes included with the recording, and it is unclear whether this is a live performance or even when it was made. Those who have followed either Bisio's or Giardullo's careers will not be disappointed, though, as there is plenty of solid, timeless blowing to be found between the covers.