This sort of free-associative collective improvisation used to be a blow against jazz convention; today it’s a convention in and of itself. Vesuvius consists of two long free blows. Tenor saxophonist Paul Dunmall has sheets-of-sound chops and a subtle manner of shading his lines. He plays hard yet surprisingly clean, given the manic quality that’s never far beneath the surface. Pianist Alex Von Schlippenbach is similarly restive and just as coherent. Drummer Tony Bianco musters excitement without overwhelming the ensemble. Paul Rogers is a commanding bassist–not just in terms of facility but also when it comes to producing a range of unusual sounds.
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