Saturday, November 28, 2020

Dave Gisler Trio with Jamie Branch - Zurich Concert (Intakt Records, 2020)

Almost exactly one year ago today guitarist Dave Gisler led his fine trio featuring Raffaele Bossard on bass and Lionel Friedli on drums in a live festival meeting with the fiery trumpeter Jamie Branch. The results were very good indeed, with the band creating profound modern jazz that was pulled in a fusion direction by Gisler and an avant or free direction by Branch, creating the tension and release that is the foundation of daring and exciting music. The group is dynamic, easily slipping from loud near progressive rock passages, to spare and haunting sections. "Intro" glides in mysteriously, with plenty of space and shimmering waves of brass and electric guitar. Excellent bass and minimalist percussion moves things along, with shards of guitar piercing the rhythmic flow, and developing into a coursicating solo. "What Goes Up..." comes barrelling out with rock guitar and drums pushing into the red and Branch playing spitfire trumpet, keeping pace the whole way. Complex guitar soloing from Gisler over a crisp backbeat, Branch playing wildly exciting trumpet, adding gales of brass to the proceedings. Her trumpet solo over over the backbeat sets up Gisler who dives in again off the top rope with scorching guitar to bring the piece to a close. "Rabbits of the Run" builds from expansive guitar and percussion interaction, setting up Jamie Branch for a powerful and evocative feature section over boiling bass and drums that is very exciting, as she is really pushing the limits whenever she picks up her instrument. The leader takes over and leads a very good collective improvisation for guitar, bass and drums, developing complex yet accessible music. The music is appropriately drifting out of phase with a cockeyed sense of rhythm on "Better Don't Fuck With the Drunken Sailor" with Branch adding slurred lines of brass along side the sharp fast hooks and jabs of the guitar and drums. The finale is "Dive" with a powerful bass introduction, and a funky drumbeat as Branch's trumpet rises up in the mix. Smart sounding interacting between the musicians drives this full band sensitivity forward at a fast clip, leading to a heavy, grinding flux of sound that proceeds to the conclusion of the concert. This album worked very well, the choice of Jamie Branch to be the guest of the trio was an inspired one as her powerful trumpet made an interesting acoustic foil to Gisler's amped up guitar. Zurich Concert -

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