Day & Taxi

Less and More

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Less and More, released on Unit in 1999, was recorded during the same sessions as About (Percaso, 1998), on August 2 and 3, 1997. Both albums were even edited at the same time, which means leader Christoph Gallio did not package leftovers on the second disc but envisioned the two albums simultaneously. They could have formed a nice two-CD set. Released separately and a year apart, they sound interchangeable, showing the same balance between free-bop melodies and clever improvisation, between felt avant-garde jazz and more upbeat numbers. Three pieces included here were also featured on the previous album: "Fall in Ellipses," "Inside M," and "Walker." The heads-and-solos format ensures a certain level of diversity between takes, but before one actually notices the identical recording dates, doubts arise about what motivated the trio to release these tunes again -- and even when it is understood that they are not new versions but alternate takes, one still wonders. The album opens with "To Walk on Eggshells," a surprisingly high-octane number from drummer Dieter Ulrich. "135 Oder Schneller," by bassist Dominique Girod, includes a solo spot for the drummer, who drops his carefully restrained playing to stretch out. All the other tunes are by Gallio, his Lacy-influenced writing providing a couple of nice numbers ("Monster," the beautiful "Sympathy") but, perhaps due to their familiarity, the tunes repeated from About remain the strongest ones.

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