Brooklyn Jazz Underground
Gianni Gagliardi's "Nomadic Nature" begins with a crash of thunder followed by the most eerie, upper-register saxophone wail. The wail may at first sound like the squeaks beginner players produce when they first navigate the instrument, but in Gagliardi's oeuvre, it is completely under control and adds significantly to the language of the instrument. In fact, along with his rich vocabulary of more traditional tenor tone, the ghostly wail is a leitmotif of sorts, an otherworldly voice that comes and goes throughout the album. Born in Barcelona, Spain, Gagliardi is now a rising star on the Brooklyn jazz scene.
Gagliardi's unique approach to the sax is matched by Gilad Hekselman's prowess on guitar. Every time Hekselman solos over Gagliardi's unpredictable changes, gorgeous lines flow from his fingers. Some of the best moments come when the two interweave their solos as they do on "Macanudo Man." Gagliardi's other three band-mates — Luke Marantz, piano; Alexis Guadrado, bass; and Mark Ferber, drums — are also well chosen. With excellent arrangements on a variety of challenging compositions, all of which were written by Gagliardi. "Nomadic Nature" is a most impressive debut.