Italian composer Franco DeGrassi and saxophonist Gianni Lenoci spent some time in the U.S. in the spring of 2001. 16 is the recording of a single 50-minute live improvisation performed at Focal Point in St. Louis, MO on May 16. Lenoci plays a bit of piano in addition to his sax. DeGrassi is credited for "mixed tapes," but it is difficult to know from the recording alone what it really means, especially if he works with pre-recorded tapes or if he is recording Lenoci and processing his sounds in real time (a technique Costis Drygianakis has also been developing with reel-to-reel tape machines). It may be both, but the pair obviously aim at blurring the distinctions between reality and virtuality. They also make extensive use of space and silence; some passages consist of isolated sound events. But they don't turn minimalism into a rule: other moments present plenty of action. It is this variety in dynamics that allows the listener to remain interested for the whole duration of the piece, but one must admit that the best interaction happens somewhere in-between the Radu Malfatti-like use of silence and the busiest moments. That said, the performance remains somewhat cold all the way through, interesting in its mechanisms but hardly engaging like Polwechsel's pieces can sometimes be.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture