Marcelo Blanco

We Mean It

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This short recording has its primitive charms, as Marcello Blanco uses his tenor sax as an extension of the proverbial primordial self. Playing in duo with percussionist Stephen Flinn, Blanco dominates with non-virtuosity -- not an easy task for a player with the obvious skills of the saxophonist. Blanco enjoys blowing not only softly but in a way that thumbs its nose at traditional techniques. Using air, multi-phonics, altered tones, occasional humor, and squeaks, while eschewing melody, swing, and the sort of loud and aggressive blasts that often characterize the Avant Garde, Blanco reveals the elemental aspects of free improvisation. This album won't appeal to everyone who is wedded to Free Jazz: It attracts for its independence, creative thrusts, and new perspectives, but the signposts take getting used to. Blanco boasts a nice full sound when he wants to (which is not often), but he rarely sustains runs of any duration, instead doodling and working out delightful short patterns. Flinn plays the role of instigator, spurring on the saxophonist, complementing him, and serving as color commentator. When Blanco whistles through his horn, the drummer lays down a roll, and elsewhere Flinn keeps it soft and simple. Sometimes the very short tracks express a single idea, often implied by the title of the "tune." Many of the pieces succeed due to a concentrated focus that rarely drifts, softening the highly abstract nature of most of this music and inviting the listener into a world that appears sui generis.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:04
2 1:19
4 5:23
6 3:07
7 1:28
8 4:01
9 3:24
10 1:24
11 2:23
12 2:50
13 0:53
14 1:48
15 1:27
16 1:03
17 1:45
18 2:22
19 2:39
blue highlight denotes track pick