Album Review

Gebbia, Gianni – “Arcana Major / Sonic Tarots Session” – [Rastascan Records]

abacus   12/14/2011   CD, Jazz

Gianni Gebbia is a Sicilian sax mercenary who gigs all over the euro-jazz festival scene. Here, however, we have an intimate exposition of his seemingly effortless virtuosity. First off, this is a genius concept project as each track is an improvisation around each tarot card within the Arcana Major deck (check out the ‘game’ explained on rear). All solo explorations of the infinite sonic possibilities that the saxophone has to offer, we have here a centrifuge of tone poems composed of introspective and entrancing repeated arpeggios, enigmatic modalities, desperate struggles to grasp concrete ideas and formless, swarm-like drones. His circular breathing techniques allow for endless sweeps that explore every possible harmonic variation within his tonal journeys. The entire history of the instrument, from classical to modern jazz, is contained within, so intimately executed that you can hear the streams of breath and mechanical clicks that produce every sound. This entire album has a philosophical and narrative flow to it and could be listened to as one piece. Mix it, use it as interludes, play it on its own, just play it!

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