Monday, August 19, 2013

Nick Mazzarella Solo

Corbett vs Dempsey have hosted a number of concerts this year and I have tried to get to as many as possible. On Saturday afternoon the gallery presented a solo concert by alto saxophonist Nick Mazzarella (nestled amongst artwork by Peter Br√∂tzmann).
Brotzmann: Untitled (Landscape) 2012

The hour long set filled the gallery with Mazzarella's searing, overdriven tone containing plenty of bite and vocalized distortions (and the occasional bell chime).

Mazzarella is lightning quick around the horn and his use of trills, repeated phrases, sequences and the gallery's acoustics, created a "wall of sound" that, at times, reached near breaking point.

The opening piece, with it's wide intervals, sudden dynamic shifts and space was another example of his awareness of the room to help his notes harmonize/overlap/clash with themselves.

When his notes bent and swooped an acidic, barbed Johnny Hodges came to mind. 

I would have liked to heard him explore the quiet end of the spectrum a little more. When he did, it was particularly effective - another dimension was added to his sound and the subtleties of his pitch inflections and dynamic range were more pronounced.

Mazzarella's trio is playing at Chicago Jazz Festival Saturday 31 October 12.30pm

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