♫♪  Nick Mazzarella Trio - Counterbalance

The classic jazz trio setup, am I right? Sax, bass, and drums, just like the doctor ordered; just like old times; just like the prophecies foretold. Nick Mazzarella leads his band on alto sax, and Anton Hatwich and Frank Rosaly fall in on bass and drums respectively. The whole thing was recorded on January 19, 2018, at Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport, Chicago.

But hey, you can get all that from reading a description.

What you can’t get is the sense of being there, like really BEING THERE being there, the smoke billowing from your lungs and hair because the Mazzarella Trio was hot-fire that night! Rosaly had even moved away from Chicago to Amsterdam, and this all occurred on a return trip for him, but it was like no one had ever been away, ever. The three rip through six new compositions like they were born to play them, like the material had come together in cosmic confluence and burst forth from the players’ bodies in a whirlwind of technique and speed and tone and restraint. The audible “Woo!s” from the crowd act like air currents on which they ride a spiritual fire that quickly overcomes and engulfs everything in its path. A whirlwind-fire-tornado of complete organic mastery. Who comes away from that unscathed?

No one. Burned and cleansed as the heat from friction ignites the unsuspecting oxygen, we’re all leaping from our seats and clapping and cheering, even though we’re not even there — we’re somewhere in our house with an extension cord and some massive headphones, hiding in a closet or a bathroom, audibly freaking out and scaring cats and dogs and fish and hamsters at each outburst. Not a single sick heart beats out of time, and Couterbalance, the recorded document of that night (how did I get so far without naming it?), sets it right, preparing us for fibrillation with crackling energy currents. Lightning strikes once, twice, six times. Everything goes up every time.

I’m still cheering this on in the bathroom.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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