The Mathias Rissi Trio -- comprised of Rissi on alto, Guerino Mazzola on piano, and Heinz Gewisser on drums -- has expanded into a 12-piece orchestra for the performance of these three compositions. Scored by Rissi, who has always held large orchestra ambitions, the band follows along traditional lines and plays a type of compositionally directed free jazz that ebbs and flows along motifs of the avant-garde and contemporary classical music. Unlike most of the units playing in the same manner, however, Rissi is not so much interested in dissonance and atonality as he is in a notion of large-scale contrapuntal investigation and harmonic convergences along modal lines. Here his written lines for brass break down along tonal lines where the striated harmonics of trombones and trumpets move into overtonal symbiosis with baritone saxophones and then altos with piano, bass, and drums, creating a web of rhythm, texture, and (often fickle) sonances to blend against. Check out the elongated melody lines for the brass in "Havasupai," where piano and bassline come down on top of the melody and paint it into a different motif, leitmotiv, and finally cascade in shimmering counterpoint to mirror it against the saxophone section. On "Yavapai," tempos fluctuate against and through melodic considerations and intervallic order becomes a means by which harmonic interpolation becomes possible. This is some hot big band music; check it out.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek