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Bob Gorry/Pete Brunelli/Peter Riccio - GoBruCcio (NHIC)

8 September 2021

Free jazz is often at its best when the players involved know each other. If you’ve played together for a long time, especially in a variety of settings, you know how to listen to your cohorts, follow or lead them, or just read their minds. So it is on Bob Gorry’s latest album GoBruCcio. The guitarist and member of the New Haven Improvisers Collective joins with old pals Pete Brunelli on bass and Peter Riccio (also a member of the Sawtelles) on the drums for an exercise in spontaneous composition in five parts.

The opener “Safecracker” wanders all over the place, from freefloating slow burn to menacing rumble to high-stepping free bop. Tone thus set, the trio continues its nook-and-crannying on these freely improvised tunes. “Magic City Madness” starts out brooding before evolving into a bundle of nervous energy, while “Papillion” drifts from meditative to swirling. Gorry comes from the James Blood Ulmer school of rhythm/lead work, and Brunelli and Riccio sound joined at the hip, no matter how far afield they get from the beat. GoBruCcio comes from the exploratory school of improvisation, where the goal is not so much to magically craft a tune as it is to find every interesting point in the loose structure being erected. It may be noodling, but it’s noodling with a purpose.