B.E.E.K. — Live at Spruce Street Forum (Botticelli, 2004)
Alto saxophonist Marco Eneidi isn’t easy to find on disk these days. So, it’s exciting that the latest CD on his Botticelli label is available again.
Botticelli was never widely distributed; your main sources were Eneidi himself and the Eremite label, where he had found a sympathetic ear. Downtown Music Gallery was listening, too, and they’ve found an old box of CDs from a quartet that paired Eneidi with Peter Brotzmann for a double-sax attack, with Jackson Krall (drums) and Lisle Ellis (bass). (DMG notes the finding on its latest newsletter.)
When I think of these two saxophonists, I think of high energy levels — Brotzmann in forceful, thundering volume; Eneidi in a more darting, agile strategy.
And the album delivers on that promise. It’s a squall. Even when the saxophonists take a break — exchanging long blaring tones during “No. 1,” for instance — Krall’s drums and Ellis’ bass keep up their relentless blowing. It’s a towering monolith of sound.
The audio quality on this live recording isn’t excellent, but you can still lose yourself in the dizzying attack presented here, especially at the points where the two saxophones join paths — constructive interference — to form a spiraling white hole of energy.
It’s not all bluster. On “No. 4” (fourth of five baically untitled tracks), Eneidi — at least I think it’s him — improvises an easygoing nighttime jazz/blues, backed by calm bass and Krall using his brushes. Soon enough, though, the piece simmers into a more chaotic, freeform jumble. “No. 2” likewise starts with a light touch, in what could be considered some of the best playing on the album, fast and quiet.
It’s an album worth seeking out. Ken Waxman’s Jazz Weekly review, which displays a deeper knowledge of history and saxophones than I’ve got, can be found here. And if you can read Spanish, this page might tell you something.