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|Reviews that mention Marco Eneidi
Vinny Golia/Marco Eneidi/Lisa Mezzacappa/Vijay Anderson
Hell-Bent in the Pacific
No Business Records NBCD 49
By Ken Waxman
Both a reunion and a new configuration, the galloping interaction which makes up Hell-Bent in the Pacific unites alto saxophonist Marco Eneidi, who now lives in Austria, with his West Coast rhythm section plus added impetus from Los Angeles-based Vinny Golia’s many reeds.
Golia’s wide-ranging gigs have frequently put him in contact with bassist Lisa Mezzacappa and drummer Vijay Anderson, two of the Bay area’s busiest players, so that his contributions are inspired not alienating. Meanwhile Eneidi, a Californian who has been in Vienna since 2004, easily locks into a groove with the bassist and drummer. Crucially as well, his empathy with Golia is such that when the Angelo concentrates on tenor the result recalls the memorable two-horn partnership Eneidi had in the ‘90s with the late Glenn Spearman (1947-1998).
In contrast, tracks such as “Pendulum;” and “Fumbling Fulminations” demonstrate how curving chalumeau or flutter-tongued vibrations from Golia’s clarinet or bass clarinet tease the alto saxophonist’s tart tones so that the two reedists’ output twists around each other’s. Mezzacappa anchors the nine instant compositions with graceful power, encompassing a grab bag of bulldozer-like thumps and scrubbed line extensions. Anderson’s clip-clops and cuffs plus gong-like cymbal tones are precise and tasteful throughout.
Probably the highpoint for all comes on the extended “Catholic comstocking smut-hound”. Anderson’s slapping cymbals and Mezzacappa’s Pops Foster-style slap bass easily define the tune’s head and recapped finale leaving the horn men plenty of space. Each takes advantage of this with sharp bites and tactile slurs, as Golia’s tenor saxophone outlines the narrative, deconstructs it with screeches, snorts and split tones, and then revives it, as the alto saxophonist darts around him with multiphonic reed vibrations.
“Everything imaginable can be Dreamed” is Eneidi’s feature, while “Prisoner of a gaudy and unlivable present” is another demonstration of Golia’s tenor saxophone prowess. Shadowed by Mezzacappa’s ringing bass line, the tenor saxist’s breathy lyricism plus heated triple tonguing honors both Ben Webster and John Coltrane. Meanwhile Eneidi’s timbres on his showpiece demonstrate a familiarity with Bird-like licks as well as so-called avant-garde playing.
Hell-Bent in the Pacific is such a high quality piece of work that one hopes that geography won’t prevent the quartet from convening again.
Tracks: Meteorites; Inessential Melancholies; Everything imaginable can be Dreamed; Deformities and Discords; Pendulum; Fumbling Fulminations; Prisoner of a gaudy and unlivable present; Lop-sided heels and frayed shoes; Catholic comstocking smut-hound
Personnel: Vinny Golia: tenor, sopranino and soprano saxophones; Bb and bass clarinet; Marco Eneidi: alto saxophone; Lisa Mezzacappa: bass; Vijay Anderson: drums
--For The New York City Jazz Record March 2013
March 5, 2013
Sound On Survival
Henceforth Records 101
Overstuffed with searing improvisations, this live disc confirms that unadorned Energy music still thrives, and that geography is becoming increasingly musically irrelevant.
Built around a magnificent, almost-40-minute performance, recorded in and titled Philadelphia, the Sound on Survival (SOS) trio also lets loose on three other tracks, captured in Amherst, Mass. However two of the band members are Canadians who now live in the Bay area drummer Peter Valsamis is a former Montrealer, while Vancouver native Lisle Ellis, is bassist of choice for a variety of left coast ensembles. SOS guiding force is long-time Bay area alto saxophonist Marco Eneidi who has since relocated to Germany.
The three attack Philadelphia with an intensity suggesting the energetic trio work of Ornette Coleman or Jimmy Lyons. Constantly shifting tempos and theme variations, the performance is modern enough to leave space for Ellis rasping electronics to extend his throbbing walking or cello-like vibrations.
Reserved himself, Valsamis seconds each movement from the other two. When Eneidi introduces twittering and slurring, he counters with rumbles and cross-sticking. Sul ponticello squirming from Ellis brings forth floor-tom accents plus cymbal ruffling. Upfront, the altoist spins out arpeggio after arpeggio and slur after slur. Braking to an early false climax, he then accelerates into a shower of side-slipping, glottal patterning and trumpet-like retches. Eventually the three coalesce to drive the rhythmic intermingling ever upward to a tension dissipating point. The similarly paced, but shorter preceding tracks, serve as a nourishing appetizer to this main gourmet meal.
-- Ken Waxman
October 15, 2005
Live at the Spruce Street Forum
Marco Eneidi is a brave musician.
When it comes to improvising, the diminutive, Bay area alto saxophonist will match his skills against anyones. Which is why LIVE AT THE SPRUCE STREET FORUM is such an explosive document. The five longish tracks feature Eneidi facing off with a reedman universally acknowledged since the 1960s as one of the most ferocious on his instruments: German saxist and clarinetist Peter Brötzmann.
Aided and abetted by Vancouver-born, California-based bassist Lisle Ellis and New York drummer Jackson Krall and recorded in San Diego, the CD is a caterwauling yawp of a session. It proves how in the right circumstances it only takes four committed improvisers to make enough characteristic sounds to create their own version of John Coltranes ASCENSION, which featured 11 musicians or Brötzmanns MACHINE GUN which featured eight.
In the years since he helmed that session in 1968, Brötzmann has played with nearly every major figure in international improv. Ellis has worked with the likes of Vancouver pianist Paul Plimley and upstate New Yorks Joe McPhee, while Krall is drummer of choice for pianist Cecil Taylor. As for Eneidi, fire-breathing tenor men dont phase him: he had a longtime relationship with the late Oakland, Calif.-based reedist Glenn Spearman.
Here, hard and heavy reed textures snap all over the place, with great hairy honks from the tenor meeting up with rough, flutter tongued altissimo pitches and irregular vibrations from the alto. Yet, even as the split tones, foghorn honks and glottal punctuation combines into an elongated scream, you realize that theres more to this creation than exuding pure emotion. Variations of beauty and order endure, along with historical references.
Sometime during the first tune, for instance, Brötz spews out a phrase identical to what Albert Ayler would have sounded during the latters ESP-Disk heyday. Aylerian suggestions peek from among other reed punishment elsewhere, while consciously or not, one of the final phrases ejaculated by the veteran closely resembles the connective riff on the original Machine Gun.
Promulgating broken counterpoint along with his darting, airy note splatters, Eneidi often works himself and the older saxist into polyphonic and polyharmonic double counterpoint. With bell-shaking screeching obbligatos spilling from both horns simultaneously, there are points where the freak-note tag-teaming resemble that of altoist Marion Brown and tenorist Archie Shepp or altoist John Tchicai and tenorist Pharoah Sanders on Ascension.
Unlike Young Lion recreations, those inferences are just that. The two reedists arent out to emulate anyone -- not even, in Brötzmanns case, his earlier self. His clarinet work, which steeplechases from moody chalumeau flattement to trilling aviary undulations proves that here. Meanwhile, neither Brown nor Tchicai, Eneidis game plan can encompass a sudden lucid balladic line cut with a bit of steel, as he does on the second tune, or elsewhere where he shreds upper partials with intense triple tonguing. Swaying lines, he can create trumpety tones from his reed as easily as Brötz forces out wide vibrato tongue stops and deep-in-the-body-tube snorts.
Ellis and Krall arent left behind either. When he can be heard clearly from within the cacophony, the former rarely walks, but instead displays timbres that include pacific pizzicato chording and a solo that moves from stopping the string and stroking the basss ribs to accelerating the rhythmic impetus.
Krall reserves his brushes for the brief periods Ellis solos -- and he can surprise with a standard beat if need be. But most of the time he thumps out backbeats, ruffs and rattles, and equally valuably, exhibits a decisive resounding splat to signal the end of certain tracks.
Looking for excitement? The folks at the Spruce Street Forum would agree that with this CD youve come to the right place.
-- Ken Waxman
Track Listing: 1. No. 1 2. No. 2 3. No. 3 4. No. 4 5. No. 5
Personnel: Marco Eneidi (alto saxophone); Peter Brötzmann (alto and tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet); Lisle Ellis (bass); Jackson Krall (drums)
January 10, 2005
Shadow Intersections West
Cadence Jazz CJR 1160
Leo Records LR 399
Trios made up of an alto saxophonist, a percussionist and a cellist are the points of comparison between these two sessions. Yet despite the similarities each is different in execution, if not conception.
Nominally under the leadership of veteran Washington, D.C.-based percussionist Paul Murphy, who made his name played with the late saxophonists Jimmy Lyons and Glenn Spearman, the first CD features nine instant compositions with considerable input from the other players. Theyre Bay area alto man Marco Eneidi, another close Spearman associate, and cellist Kash Killion, who at one point was in Sun Ras Arkestra. Improvisational to the max, the only criticism that can be leveled at the performance is that most tunes merely stop, without really reaching a climax or conclusion.
As group-improvised as the other disc, CONFLUXUS avoids some of those abrupt endings, but that may be because cellist Brent Arnold and alto saxophonist Wally Shoup have been playing together since the mid-1990s. Someone who has done string arrangements and played for singers Sleater-Kinney, Arnold appears content to mostly stay in the background and provide the pulse on which the other two vibrate. Japan-born, Philadelphia-based percussionist Toshi Makihara has performed with experimental music ensembles plus dance and theatre companies. His association with Shoup began in 1999 when the two recorded with Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore. Someone who has followed a singular path for many years, reedist Shoup has recorded with New York bassist Reuben Radding and played with just about every outside musician who comes through Seattle.
Mixing influences that take in pre-and-post-electric Ornette Coleman and Charles Mingus, the Murphy three work out heads that vary according to the prominence of each instrument. Unamplified, Killions playing can suggest that of an electric bass, then turn around and outline the most legitimate sounding cello tone. Spiccato, his splayed timbres enliven most of the output, and there are times you could swear hes using both a piccolo fiddle and a double bass. Walking bass lines arent foreign to him either.
Supple in his power and restraint, textural rumbles and bounces characteristic Murphys playing. He also avoids excessive percussion displays. Commanding when he applies bass drum pedal pressure or keeps up ride cymbal action, it often appears as if hes teasing his snares, rather than playing them. Metallic-like cuts from Killions cello and single note expositions from Eneidi are met with the same equanimity from Murphy.
Taking a lead role, the alto man sticks to extended techniques in his solos, though there are times intimations of standards can almost be heard. On Ghibli, for instance, his timbres are lengthened to such an extent that a drastic recasting of Somewhere is implied. Beginning with two minutes of up-and-down trills and sideslipping slurs, double tonguing finally ushers the other two into the piece with cymbal color and double-stopping. Eneidi completes the cycle with double and triple tonguing, harsh smears and extended snaps and growls. The cellist provides spiccato friction and Murphy rumbles. Finally as the reedist hurls single notes as a thematic reprise, the tune gradually fades away.
Locked-Up is frenzied quasi-bop, encompassing rattling cymbals and a steady bass pulse. As the saxists jagged trills and repetitive triads are spit out fast and furious, he could be playing Salt Peanuts. Murphys contribution is snare color and bomb dropping as the piece gets more intense and double quick. With broken octaves, Eneidis diminuendo finds him caressing the lines and ending by playing Broadway show-tune-like constructions.
Rouge, which takes on a Mingusian cast through Killions bass strings, finds the altoist moving from breathy John Handy -- with Mingus -- territory to sharp, resonating reed vibrations that turn brutal and abstract. Everything is framed by single whaps and reverberating rolls from Murphy and double-stopping from Killion. Reed snorts and flattement then slow down the cellist to isolated picking and the drummer to individual pops or cymbal shimmers.
SHADOW INETSRSECTION WEST has definite track breaks, while the 10 tunes that make up the other CD often seem as they are one continuous suite. Throughout, Arnold usually confines himself to polyphonic note doubling with the saxophonist, counterpoint accompaniment, centred pizzicato runs, droning ponticello continuum and flat-picking near the tuning pegs.
This last gesture follows a section in Inside Straight when Arnold maintains dialogue with Shoups spetrofluctuation with pulsating cross bowing. Makihara contributes scurrying squirrel-like scratches, rim shots and press rolls. Other places however, Shoup comes up with crow-cawing striated tonal undulations that Makihara matches with what sounds like hand drumming.
Although the reedists m.o. often includes sideslipping, piercing growls and other extended techniques played at a rapid pace, there are a few instances when slower tempi are called for and utilized. Luminage is one of the former. Here tongue slaps and buzzed split tones from Shoup face ratcheting scrapes and constant concussions from Makihara, as Arnold shuffles out tremolo double string bowing. Pushing into the realm of odd metered sounds and friction, the cellists ponticello drone adds to a straight on cymbal and a snare attack from the drummer as Shoup, with an even more abstract and diffuse timbre, continues to squeal lustily.
As for the later, Double Pump is all waggling lines twisted and doubled built on flute like-cadences from the cello. Meantime Shoup adapts an almost Eastern European stuttering tone from the alto, stridently ascending to dragged nail on blackboard timbre and the drummer follows suit with ratchets and direct kit hits.
For a finale, Fault Line finds Shoup almost mellow and Arnold undeniably legato as the two mesh for a jagged cello and sax duet. As the saxman descends from some muezzin-like extended pulses to deeper-pitched honks and snores, the cello line follows him southwards. Ending is the unison expelling of stammering flutter tonguing and a low string swell.
With the right people and techniques involved, sax, drums and cello are perfectly adequate for expressing the most complex musical ideas.
-- Ken Waxman
Track Listing: Confluxus: 1. Two Breaths Away 2. Joyride 3. Inside Straight 4. Convergence for Three 5. Secret Tear 6. Luminage 7. Con Fluxus 8. Double Pump 9. Conversance 10. Fault Line
Personnel: Confluxus: Wally Shoup (alto saxophone); Brent Arnold (cello); Toshi Makihara (drums)
Track Listing: Shadow: 1. Outlines 2, Spectral Traces 3. Ghibli 4. Duo 5. Winds Run 6. Ixion 7. Rouge 8. Jacinthe 9. Locked-Up
Personnel: Shadow: Marco Eneidi (alto saxophone); Kash Killion (cello); Paul Murphy (drums)
January 10, 2005
(Black Saint 120207-2)
Let us now praise unjustly "unfamous" men.
Case in point: tenor saxophonist Glenn Spearman, an emotional, gut-wrenching free blower if there ever was one, who died of colon cancer in October 1998 at the age of 51.
Spearman was a take-no-prisoners blower in the lineage of Ayler, Coleman and Coltrane. A member of one of Cecil Taylor's group, he taught at Mills College in the Bay Area and recorded in a variety of settings, most memorably with his own Double Trio (for Tzadik and Black Saint).
But, because his snaky, informed improvisations were performed in the "wrong" place (Europe and California rather than New York); and at the "wrong" time (the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s rather than the 1960s); he was much less celebrated than he should have been.
This album may do something to redress the situation.
Recorded in four different sessions in 1994 and 1995, it, for the most part, finds Spearman and a sympathetic crew of long-time collaborators working on the spiky twists and turns of his own compositions. What's most remarkable about most of them is how easily they swing, in the most elemental sense of the word. "Blare", for instance is a danceable free jazz blues jam. Meanwhile "Fields Before The Ram" is a shorter, earlier, metre-shifting run-through of "The Fields", one of his Double Trio suites, with its nearly patented descending runs.
Standout colleagues, include saxophonist Eneidi, who shadows Spearman as Robin to his Batman; trumpeter Malik who matches the saxophonist in stratospheric intensity every time he puts his horn to his lips; and the drumming of Robinson (who recorded with Spearman from 1981 onwards), whose touch is so subtle that you hardly notice that he's there at all.
Two tracks are completely different. "Raga Shamwati" blends Spearman's horn with the voices and traditional instruments of South Asian musicians creating a winning east/west fusion. And "The Skin She Bears" has the saxophonist, guitarist and drummer accompanying a poem read by producer Don Paul. The results almost succeed, with Spearman's powerful phrasing nearly making up for Paul's weak delivery.
Despite his shortcomings there, Paul must be commended for getting more prime Spearman on disc. And other un-released sessions exist elsewhere, waiting for mastering and adventurous labels.
It's just too bad that Spearman didn't have a more time and opportunities to create even more.
1) Blare [A] 2. Long Forward Pasts [B] 3. Fields Before the Ram [A] 4. Raga Shamwati [C] 5. The Skin She Bears [D] 6. Graduation [A] 7. Pipes, Spirit & Bronze [B] 8. Lyons Roar [A]
Glenn Spearman (tenor saxophone) with: [A] Raphe Malik (trumpet); Marco Eneidi (alto saxophone); J.R. Routhier (guitar); Lisle Ellis (bass); Donald Robinson (drums) [B] Paul Plimley (piano); Ellis and Robinson [C] Shafqat Ali Khan and Ustad Salamat Ali Khan (voice); Dhyani Dharma Mas (acoustic guitar); Tim Witter (tabla); John Baker (synthesizer) [D] Don Paul (voice); Routhier and Robinson
March 22, 2000