Jon Gibson

Jon Gibson: Criss X Cross

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Jon Gibson's Criss X Cross was recorded live on November 26, 1979, at the Festival d'Automne à Paris, and Tzadik faithfully reproduces that important minimalist event for this 2006 release. Gibson, a frequent performer for Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and La Monte Young, demonstrates his own original concepts in this rhythmically alert and refreshingly free-spirited concert. His five solo pieces for single-line instruments are organized according to numerical grids or matrices, such as the one featured on the cover; yet while the limited sets of pitches are ordered in ever-changing but logically planned sequences, an improvisational spirit governs these performances. The introductory Call, which Gibson plays on alto flute, has a calming effect reminiscent of Japanese shakuhachi music, while Equal Distribution No. 1 has lush textures, due to an electronic harmonizer attached to Gibson's flute that supplies extra pitches. The three Criss X Cross pieces, which are performed on soprano saxophone, are assertive and penetrating in tone and more varied in their modes; they provide a needed contrast to the softer flute pieces, and give the music an edgy quality, cultivated by many minimalists of the time. Because this is a live recording, there are occasional audience noises and some slight distortion, particularly in Equal Distribution; but the analog sound is very good in this digitally remastered version, with little tape hiss.

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