Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Paul Flaherty and Chris Corsano: The Beloved Music

Nine minutes into this album’s second track, saxophonist Paul Flaherty and drummer Chris Corsano come down from an extended period of hyperactive and extremely loud free playing. Flaherty then contributes a brief episode of clarity, a dynamically shaded solo passage revealing admirable finesse. In the process he highlights this album’s chief failing. The duo plays too loud, too much of the time. Corsano has impressive chops and a vivid imagination. Unfortunately, he turns the volume up to “11” and leaves it there for long stretches. Perhaps as a consequence, Flaherty quits playing ideas and essentially screams through his horn. Who knows? Maybe he’d do that even if Corsano used brushes.

In any case, it gets old. The more a person screams, the more you shut him out. Ask my kids. Corsano is a talented player, but he’d be more persuasive if he’d limit the use of that “11” to maybe once a set. The veteran saxophonist and his young accomplice have the essentials: passion, creativity, commitment, chops. I sense the kernel of a nice partnership, one that could flourish if Corsano in particular learns some self-restraint.

Originally Published