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Guillermo Gregorio: Coplanar

Madi Ensemble & Guillermo Gregorio

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Album Review

Guillermo Gregorio might be considered a musical renaissance man. He has deep-rooted mainstream jazz and bop influences, and has experimented with electronics while also studying classical music. In a roundabout way, the title of this release refers to textures, the Russian avant-garde movement, art objects, and artistically inspired philosophies. And while this record label generally focuses on contemporary classical frameworks, Gregorio employs noteworthy modern jazz musicians such as guitarist Jeff Parker, clarinetist François Houle, and others. The overall tone and structural design of this outing is quite compelling, as Gregorio conducts his strings, horns, and rhythm section while also performing on clarinet. Certain pieces feature soft vibes intermingling with Parker's ringing harmonics and percussionist Carrie Biolo's abstract permutations, as the band utilizes space as a vehicle for realignment. Gregorio imports minimalist notions into his repertoire amid the musicians' contrapuntal statements and complexly fabricated micro-motifs, whereas cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and oboist Kyle Bruckmann render memorably melodic unison choruses on the piece titled "Part One." Either way, no two passages are alike, which is a characteristic that provides an ephemeral nature to this project when viewed as a whole.

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Guillermo Gregorio: Coplanar, Madi Ensemble
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