Gordon Marshall is a local writer and outspoken character in the Boston music community. Every first Saturday we will go INSIDE THE MIND of a cutting edge, perhaps experimental and even improvisational artist or group who Gordon thinks is worth a damn. This month he spoke with longtime Boston improviser Dave Gross!
Dave Gross’s music is like the things you hear late at night, in bed, what sounds much louder than it is, because you have just woken up, and your mind is extra sensitive. This can be jarring, as a rug taken out from under you for an echoing floor. His solo performances on alto sax can leave you doing nothing but scratch your head. He takes the instrument apart, rattles the mouthpiece in the holder, breathes hoarsely through the naked tube, and hits the pads along the body. It’s never what you expect, but epiphanies come, like little washers and screws you can fix your head with now.
Gross is about liberatory thinking, the concept of making people free. This comes from the free jazz of the ‘60s, energy music. His approach is different, though, more philosophical. He builds on this with several bands, from the wild fun of avant-pop act Moshi Moshi I Am the Decider, to The Epicureans, a trio with bassist Ryan McGuire and percussionist Ricardo Donoso, in which the instruments are so brutally integrated each sounds like the other. He is profound. He will evoke spirits in you to make you stronger, and provoke response in you to creature and environment, making you deeper, and socializing you. Hear Introducing The Epicureans (Semata, 2008).