Anthony Santor / Ari Diaconis Project, Beyond Human Aid | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Anthony Santor / Ari Diaconis Project, Beyond Human Aid 

Album Review

cdreview-santordiaconis.jpg

Anyone who’s attended Radio Bean’s Thursday-night jazz sessions will be familiar with the savvy double-bass work of Burlington’s Anthony Santor. He recently collaborated with an adroit set of fellow jazzers — Brooklyn-based percussionist Ari Diaconis chief among them — to create a session of mercurial improvisational jazz, Beyond Human Aid.

Many of the musicians on the disc work regularly on the Northeast’s jazz circuit. Their seasoning is fully apparent on this project, which was recorded at the esteemed Charles Eller Studio in Charlotte. The pastoral venue may be a long way from the bustle of New York and Montréal, but the resulting tracks ably wither the distance.

The nimble “Sorcery and Southern Bells” makes for a driving aural foreword. While Santor and Diaconis work with habitual verve, the post-rock-conscious guitar work of Nick Cassarino sets the pace.

Cassarino, a disciple of Queen City jazz guitar guru Paul Asbell, is front and center here. The now Brooklyn-based musician could be described as two guitarists in one: He’s at ease creating rhythmic structures for his fellow musicians and can take over the melodic focus with technical prowess. On the aforementioned “Sorcery” in particular, the transition from Cassarino’s warm monotone to a fierce Santor bass solo is excellent. Not to be outdone, an impressive horn trio shines here, too.

The saxophone duo of Andy Allen and Bryan McNamara and the bright trumpeting of Alex Wolston contribute a turbulent and formidable sonic force throughout the recording, particularly in the swing-infused “RAW.” But Cassarino grabs the spotlight here, too, with a brilliant solo alongside Geza Carr’s commendable drumming.

“With All the Earnestness at Our Command” is the most percussive and instrumentally freewheeling selection on the disc. A flurry of conga pops from Diaconis provide background for some dueling, Latin-inspired saxophone phrasing, which gives way to yet more mighty guitar work.

Despite some jagged transitions and occasional percussion-burying frenzies, Beyond Human Aid is a fine addition to Burlington’s burgeoning jazz catalogue.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

John Pritchard

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation