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Chris Corsano

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Like Glenn Kotche and Tim Barnes, drummer Chris Corsano made a name for himself as an avant-garde drum master equally adept in pop settings, and a master inventor in both. With an expressive palette made from various prepared drum techniques, including butter knives and kitchen bowls on the drum heads, Corsano collaborated with Björk, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, and Jim O'Rourke while maintaining ongoing partnerships with the likes of saxophonist Paul Flaherty, Vibracathedral Orchestra's Michael Flower, and many others.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Corsano progressed from classic rock drumming to punk in high school, before discovering improvisation while attending Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. There, in 13 Gauge, along with future Tall Firs guitarist Aaron Mullan, Corsano began to stretch out. Inspired by the vibrant Western Massachusetts improv scene, including a series of shows in the summer of 1996 by the No-Neck Blues Band, Harry Pussy, and Flaherty-Colburne Quintet, Corsano soon found himself a part of it. His drumming became a source of nearly melodic texture as much as rhythm.

Corsano performed with many of the leading lights of the scene, including flagship collective Sunburned Hand of the Man, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon (relocated from Manhattan to Northampton), and saxophonist Paul Flaherty. He was often transient, living in New York City, Edinburgh, and Manchester. A trip to Japan in 2005 yielded several albums, including a session with Jim O'Rourke and Darin Gray as Osorezan, as well as work backing the veteran Japanese saxophonist Akira Sakata. In the years following, Corsano began a series of adventurous solo recordings, including 2006's The Young Cricketer and Blood Pressure (which featured no drums at all, only a keyboard and a microphone).

By 2007, his work had attracted the attention of Icelandic avant-popper Björk, whom he joined (along with Lightning Bolt drummer Brian Chippendale) on 2007's Volta, as well as subsequent tours, his first experience playing the same drum part every night. His collaborations and solo projects continued unabated, including stints with psych-folk mainstays Six Organs of Admittance, the prolific New England duo of Matt Valentine and Erika Elder, and mysterious Texas weirdo Jandek.


1975 in Englewood, NJ

Years Active:

'00s, '10s