Sound Scape Joe Giglio/Jimmy Halperin (Bella Firenze Music)
by Elliott Simon
Guitarist Joe Giglio and saxophonist Jimmy Halperin are part of the current, albeit small, group of musicians that are keeping pianist Lennie Tristano’s singular approach to improvisation alive. Halperin studied with Tristano and both musicians had a long association with pianist and Tristano pupil Sal Mosca. Sound Scape is an effective meeting that intimately documents the excitement of creating complex structures from the inside out. The majority of these compositions, save for an elegant reworking of Monk’s “‘Round Midnight”, utilize the harmonic structure of standards, sans melody, as jumping off points for improvisation. A tribute to Mosca, “Love for Sal” has guitar and sax coming together in an almost eerie piano fashion while “Carla-La” pays homage to the pensive side of vocalist Carla White. Giglio just doesn’t draw on bop guitarists but also channels Eddie Lang/Django Reinhardt on the swinging “M. Jones” and is conversant with a variety of styles on both acoustic and electric axes. He has a wonderfully delicate touch and timbre, with a knack for knowing when to layback and let Halperin blow. Halperin’s tone is likewise impressive and, alternating between soprano and tenor, he dazzles with both speed and creativity. The most notable aspect of Sound Scape, however, is the collective improvisation; with nine tunes that, save for the solo guitar piece “Trickle Up”, typically run past seven minutes, there are plenty of opportunities for incredible congruence. This makes for a chamber-like atmosphere that is all the more apparent given the decision to exclude bass and drums. Sound Scape shines as a penetrating and detailed look into joint improvisation in its purest and most advanced form. For more information, visit joegiglio.com. This duo is at 107West Mar. 7th. See calendar.