Baczkowski, Steve / Chris Corsano / Paul Flaherty
The Dull Blade [VINYL]
A decade after their last album "Dim Bulb", "The Dull Blade" follows up with the trio of Chris Corsano on drums and duel saxophonist Steve Baczkowski and Paul Flaherty, recorded live in the studio at New Haven, Connecticut's Firehouse 12, an incredible album of fiery and ferocious playing with an outsider jazz attitude; brilliant.
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Edition of 400.
Label: FEEDING TUBE RECORDS
Catalog ID: FTR 307LP
Squidco Product Code: 24039
Recorded Live in studio at Firehouse 12, in New Haven, Connecticut, on March 27th, 2015, by Greg Dicrosta.
Steve Baczkowski-tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone
Paul Flaherty-alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
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1 Scales Of Indifference 11:59
2 Payments In Person Will No Longer Be Accepted Or Tolerated 7:10
1 There Could Of Course Be No Question 4:46
2 Dry Clean Only 13:43
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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sample the album:
"More than a decade since their first (and last) trio album, Dim Bulb, "Buffalo Steve," Chris Corsano and Paul Flaherty are back on the attack. The three recorded as part of a larger ensemble on the Open Mouth LP, Wrong Number, but they have a certain way of creating focused trio dynamics that makes babies talk in tongues and old men drool.
The line-up is a bit unorthodox - two saxes (one a goddamn baritone) and drums. You might almost be tempted to call the format European. But it'd be a canard to try and place this album in the Euro free music tradition. I mean, yeah, there is some massive outsider brawling here. Buckets of wind and clumps of tubs "all double twisted up," as Fred Blassie used to say. But the fire never refrains from flaming as jazz-qua-jazz, which places it a lot more squarely in the American tradition than actual squares would have you believe. These three are clearly savages, which is a far cry from people impersonating savages, if you catch my drift.
Beyond that, there is an ineffably jazzoid heft to the music here. Both Steve and Paul are playing in a distinctly post-Ayler jetstream. The freedom of their runs maintains that strangely (perhaps even imaginary or projective) American connection to bar-walking R&B maniacs - something that seems to lie at the bottom of our country's hornic subconscious. Which is not to say individual moments on this record couldn't have come from the FMP catalog, but there's a red hot holism here that will brand most asses with the stars & stripes.
The Dull Blade has a strange undercurrent of swing here as well. Largely provided by Mr. Corsano's driving full kit approach, the most outward-moving passages (often those involving the inner and outer freak registers of the horns) get corralled back into more clearly terrestrial and genuinely moving.
It's a great goddamn record. Once again these guys manage to defy odds and expectations, creating music that is as fully-charged and beautiful as it is warped."-Byron Coley, 2017
Edition of 400.
• Show Bio for Steve Baczkowski
"Steve Baczkowski is an improviser, saxophonist, and multi-wind instrumentalist. Baczkowski began playing alto saxophone at age eight and switched to baritone by the time he was twelve. He studied music in high school at Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts and went on to studies in music, saxophone performance, literature, and ethnomusicology at the State University of New York at Buffalo from 1994 to 1999. In 1999, Baczkowski became the music director of Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, N.Y, where he has since produced and presented hundreds of concerts of contemporary music as well as numerous community-based artist residencies.
In addition to organizing multiple ensembles, such as the Buffalo Improvisers Orchestra, and the Buffalo Suicide Prevention Unit, Baczkowski also performs with the 12/8 Path Band, Genkin Philharmonic, Ubudis Quartet, Rey Scott's Unusually Different, in duos with percussionists Ravi Padmanabha and John Bacon and guitarists Bill Nace, Omar Tamez, and Bill Sack and in numerous other ensembles as well as solo. He has collaborated with many renowned musicians and has appeared at festivals in North America, Mexico, and Europe."-Burchfield Penney Art Center (SUNY Buffalo) (https://www.burchfieldpenney.org/artists/artist:steve-baczkowski/)
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• Show Bio for Chris Corsano
"First spellbound by freely improvised music in the mid-1990s after witnessing performances by TEST, William Parker, Cecil Taylor, and others, Chris Corsano began a long-standing, high-energy partnership with Paul Flaherty in 1998. A move from western Massachusetts to the UK in 2005 led Corsano to develop an expanded solo music of his own, incorporating sax reeds, violin strings and bows, pot lids, and other everyday household items into his drum kit. In February 2006 he released his first solo recording, The Young Cricketer, and toured extensively throughout Europe, USA, and Japan. He spent 2007 and '08 as the drummer on Björk's Volta world tour, all the while weaving in shows and recordings on his days off with the likes of Evan Parker, Virginia Genta, and C. Spencer Yeh. Moving back to the U.S. in 2009, Corsano returned focus to his own projects, most notably a duo with Michael Flower, Rangda (with Sir Richard Bishop and Ben Chasny) and solo work, now revamped to include synthesizers and contact microphones in addition to his drum set and home-made acoustic instruments.
In addition to the those mentioned above, he's also worked with, among others: John Edwards (released by: Clean Feed/Dancing Wayang), Jim O'Rourke & Akira Sakata (Drag City/Family Vineyard), Paul Dunmall (ESP-Disk), Nels Cline (Strange Attractors), Jessica Rylan (Load Records), Jandek (Corwood), Sunburned Hand Of Man (Manhand), MV&EE (Eclipse/Time-Lag), Vampire Belt (Open Mouth), Joe McPhee (Roaratorio), and Wally Shoup (Leo/Columbia Japan)."-Chris Corsano Website (http://www.cor-sano.com/bio.html)
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• Show Bio for Paul Flaherty
"Paul Flaherty's total commitment to high-energy free improvisation has kept him deeply buried into the North-East US underground. The alto saxophonist (who later picked up the soprano and tenor sax as well) has been playing privately and self-releasing albums since the late '70s. The increase of interest in free jazz during the 1990s brought him out of his lair, releasing albums on Cadence, Tulpa, Ecstatic Yod, Boxholder, and his own labels (Zaabway, Wet Paint). His highly personal style and brut power can be compared to Peter Brötzmann and Ivo Perelman.
Flaherty was born in Hartford, Connecticut on November 6, 1948. He started to learn the saxophone in school at age 10. He played in school bands for six years and then dropped everything, education and music. His brother's amateur Beatles cover band made him realize that music comes from the heart (passion), not the mind (formal training). At the same time he discovered jazz through the radio and began to improvise over jazz records. He gave his first performance at age 23 and briefly played in John Ciffirelli and Gordon Cohen's bands. But his freeform improv was met with harsh reactions so he retracted to private sessions, looking for the right musicians to play with. In 1978 he cut his first LP In the Midst of Chaos with the group Orange (Barry Greika, Bob Laramie, Glen Peterson). His second album came out for years later and featured two guitarists (Froc Fillipetti and Bill Walach).
The 1980s was not a gentle decade on free improvisers. Besides stints as a street musician, Flaherty kept quiet, supporting himself as a housepainter. But in 1988 he met drummer Randall Colbourne, thanks to a mutual friend. The two hit it off, building a lasting friendship and partnership. Starting in 1989, they released ten albums of frantic improv, as a duet or with musicians like Mike Murray, Richard Downs, Steve Scholz, and Jim Hunt. The first of them, Endangered Species came out on Cadence, which greatly contributed to establish the saxophonist as a player worth keeping an eye on. The late 1990s saw him diversify his entourage. He has cut strong sessions with drummer Chris Corsano (The Hated Music) and trumpeter Greg Kelley (Sannyasi)."-All Music (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/paul-flaherty-mn0000022289/biography)
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