Joe Giardullo: Channeling




Joe Giardullo (soprano sax)


Weather (Not Two MW 755-2)

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Joe Giardullo (soprano sax).

Composed by Joe Giardullo


Recorded: Krakow, Poland, April 24, 2004


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Living in upstate New York is not conducive to accruing fame as a jazz musician (forget fortune), unless of course one makes his name in New York City or some other metropolis first. While the veteran soprano saxophonist Joe Giardullo occasionally sojourns into the city and plays gigs in Europe, he has developed out of the spotlight, for the most part.

Such relative obscurity hasn't prevented Giardullo from becoming one of the premiere artists on the small horn, however. "Channeling" is the first track from Weather, a solo album recorded live in concert. The track reveals an uncompromising musician who's taken a course parallel to such players as Evan Parker and Lol Coxhill. Like Parker, he's adept at eking-out a chirpy upper register and weaving long, scrawling lines that assiduously avoid tonality or even precise pitch. He emphasizes the latter aspect by slowing things down and manipulating his tone in tiny increments, rather like the Boston woodwind virtuoso Joe Maneri. Giardullo also varies the character of his sound; a close ear for contrasting timbres is one of his finest qualities.

If the march of the soprano sax in jazz has been toward ever greater abstraction, Giardullo—as an heir to and synthesizer of the innovations of artists like Coxhill, Parker, and Steve Lacy—is presently among the most forward elements.

Reviewer: Chris Kelsey

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