Landline Landline (LLCD022) 2019


In jazz and improvised music, ensembles often boast about how democracy and egalitarianism are their abiding virtues. But Landline, a new collective featuring four of the most compelling improvising musicians of their generation—tenor saxophonist Chet Doxas, bassist Zack Lober, pianist Jacob Sacks and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza—takes the concept of creative equality to a place few, if any, working groups have been before. Their self-titled debut features 12 works co-composed by all four members as in a round of the children’s game “telephone.”

Here’s how the process worked: Each member would have two weeks to begin composing a piece of music, via standard notation, graphic scoring or any other system of their choosing. Deadlines were kept, and whatever state the piece was in, it would be passed along to the next member and the next. As Sacks points out, when a member received the work-in-progress, there were no guidelines to fret over except the deadline: “If you wanted to completely ignore what was done prior, that was a valid reaction. Or if you decided, ‘I’m not changing a thing!’—that was also a valid reaction. And every gray area in between.” In an effort to be as comprehensive as possible, the band completed all possible permutations of the experiment—24 in all—and included half of them on this recording. During the recording sessions, every effort was made to explore each piece thoroughly. “I like the idea that one piece could be played a million different ways,” Sacks says.

01. Michael Attias
02. Modern Jazz
03. Twelve Years
04. Doot Wop
05. Flim Flam
06. Crystalline
07. Feel The Bernstein
08. The Ghost
09. Yup!
10. Shiny Things
11. After The Money
12. An Anecdote Regarding Anthony Braxton

All compositions by Landline

Chet Doxas - tenor saxophone
Jacob Sacks - piano
Zack Lober - bass
Vinnie Sperrazza - drums

Recorded May 16,17 and 18, 2019 at Boutique de Son Studios - Montreal, Canada
Recording engineer: George Doxas
Mixed and mastered by Eivind Opsvik at Greenwood Underground, Brooklyn, NY

Cover design by Espen Friberg
Cover photography by Michelle Arcila