Mathias Rissi

Agua

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Here you have it folks: unadulterated in-your-face hardcore saxophone, with a nod to the likes of Peter Brötzmann, performed passionately and precisely. Mathias Rissi may be little known, but he's got chops to spare and he shows them off relentlessly on these tracks, including the spectacular title piece, "Agua," which lasts more than 22 minutes. Rissi is a power player, plain and simple, with a fat tone and good technique. He paces himself well, and although this is not intended (and is unlikely) to win any converts, those who enjoy their improvisations raw and tough should enjoy this very much. Curiously, pianist Guerino Mazzola tends to be a softer and more lyrical player (just hear his two features, "Verino Qu' Es" and "Lolieseinas"), though as he shows on the abstract "Quemaris" and the more intense "Kaligandaki," he can be as out there as the best, still without the unabated energy of Rissi (although on the latter piece Mazzola comes close). Heinz Geisser is terrific on percussion throughout. His solo on the title piece is a lesson in shading, timbre, and phrasing, as he avoids cliché and instead focuses on sound. "Quemaris" is another good vehicle for Rissi, as he is forced to restrain himself, continuously inserting quiet little clusters or even one or two notes that build in volume and intensity. Ultimately he lets loose, as if bursting through a concrete wall with pure energy, prodded primarily by Geisser.

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