Baldi/Gerycz Duo: After Commodore Perry Service Plaza (American Dreams Records, 2020)

November 1, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Baldi/Gerycz Duo: After Commodore Perry Service Plaza

Dylan Baldi and Jayson Gerycz of Cloud Nothings make stripped-down free jazz as a form of release when they’re not writing and performing tightly wound, hook-heavy pop/punk songs with their main band. This is their second album this year, recorded in Gerycz’s basement home studio during a single day in February, and it contains three improvised pieces, with Baldi playing saxophone and Gerycz on drums. The first track takes up 18 minutes, and it’s mostly pretty sparse and arid, at one point feeling like it’s barely scraping along and nearly out of breath, but then it explodes into color and feeling right at the end. “Frog Congress” starts out minimal as well — faint whirring of cymbals, some faint tonal color lines, clacking of the keys — and doesn’t particularly heat up, but does seem to get deeper into the physical properties of the instruments, with more crunching, clanking, rubbing, stretching. “The Holy Retrievers (In Transit)” is much shorter than the other two pieces and much more drum-heavy, and Baldi’s expressive playing takes on much more of an Albert Ayler-like tone, so it’s easily the most active and engaging piece here.

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