George Garzone: We Don't Know Why


We Don't Know Why


The Fringe


The Fringe in New York (NYC Records NYC 6034-2)

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George Garzone (tenor sax),

John Lockwood (bass), Bob Gullotti (drums)


Composed by George Garzone, John Lockwood & Bob Gullotti


Recorded: New York, June 12-13, 2000


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

The Fringe has been prominent on the Boston jazz scene since its formation in 1972. Garzone and Gullotti were founding members, while Lockwood joined in 1985. Although jazz educator Garzone now teaches in both Boston and New York, while fellow teachers Gullotti and Lockwood are based in the Boston area, they still manage a weekly gig in Boston, and sometimes play together in New York as well as internationally at jazz festivals. Despite Garzone being nominal leader here, this has always been a cooperative venture.

The Fringe freely tills the fertile soil between hard bop and avant-garde, but often with an emphasis on spiritual modal workouts inspired or written by John Coltrane, pieces they consistently perform with great emotion and flair. "We Don't Know Why" is evocative of late-period Coltrane, what with Lockwood's insistently strummed bass and Garzone's repeated exclamations and incantatory upper-register wails, the tenorman's staccato phrases interspersed with free-falling extended lines. Lockwood's concise solo is both fluent and passionate. Garzone returns with thrusting outcries before giving way to Gullotti's fiery solo, his crisp stick and bass drum patterns artfully combined. Garzone's provocative closing statement is spurred on by more of Gullotti's energized drumming, shades of Elvin Jones at his most intense. This is the kind of spur-of-the-moment improvisation that The Fringe performs live at double or triple its 5-minute length here, always totally captivating and a prime example of their outstanding musicianship and rapport.

Reviewer: Scott Albin


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