Improvised solo saxophone performance isn’t the kind of thing you’d expect a 26-year-old newcomer to the scene to jump into with both feet. But Gerrit Hatcher makes a convincing case that he’s ready on his new cassette, Good Weight (Amalgam), a succinct offering that keeps the focus on basic ideas. The album begins with a pair of dedications to two often overlooked heavies of the free-jazz era—fellow tenor saxophonists Frank Lowe and Frank Wright—on which Hatcher reveals a flair for motific improvisation, uncorking a richly marbled tone spiked with leaps into his instrument’s extreme upper register. The pieces reflect the way their dedicatees bridged the gap between postbop propulsion and outward-bound exploration. The elliptical array of themes on the final piece, “Libido Farce (9 Brief Movements),” may raise questions about Hatcher’s ability to sustain more weighty explorations over the long haul, but it sure doesn’t come off as jumpy or erratic. Each little melodic, rhythmic, or coloristic scheme flows naturally into the next, with the saxophonist moving into more tender passages as easily as he blows down walls.
Reviewed by Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader
"The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living."
- K Marx
This is Good Weight, studies composed and executed in the traditions of vanguard jazz, including affectionate dedications to some of my own greatest influences.
Gerrit's pieces on "Good Weight," written and recorded this spring, pay particular attention to the weight of the traditions of vanguard jazz on the minds and the work of its contemporary practitioners. Gerrit focuses first on tenor saxophonists Frank Lowe and Frank Wright, as stylistic influences of his own on the instrument, and follows with a run through a different gamut of practices he recognizes in his playing in the movements of Libido Farce.
Gerrit Hatcher - Tenor saxophone
Recorded on April 3rd and May 7th 2017 at the Music Garage. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Bill Harris.
Art and design by Jennifer Haare and Field Of Grass.
Special thanks as always to my parents Alison and Brian Hatcher.