Like Robert Filliou’s 1965 massively small “epic” on something else press, AMPLE FOOD FOR STUPID THOUGHT from which it draws its inspiration, this cd is as short as it is long. Listening to it is like going back to school. The poems it contains are a witty, perverse primer on life. Not since the Lacy/Aebi combo has there been such a positive effort to bring poetry both humorous and profound into the improv/composed (97 % in this case by Christoph Gallio)/jazz/new music idiom all in one package and have it work so well from beginning to end.

In 32 minutes & 39 seconds (a truly compact disc) we are fed some 92 short poems, one liners to be exact all in the form of questions, that more than fill our appetites. “what makes a party?” well this does. Tho what kind of party I cannot exactly describe. And what’s to be done with such ear candy? such tiny little “sound/bites” so delectably edible. such delicate voicings by soprano Sylvia Nopper. such sweet picking by guitarist Marino Pilakas. such sensitive breathings by clarinetist Thomas Eckert. And the well placed runs of Gallio on alto & soprano. Plus all the other toppings added by the 5 guest chefs: Peter Scharli on trumpet, Martin Lorenz on vibes, Bernard Barnet on trombone, Dominique Girod on double bass and Ernst Thoma mixing those crazy electronics. All adding such wonderful textures, flavors and colors to the music that supports these fanciful yet every day occurrences? What’s to be done indeed!!!!!

What we have he(a)re are true gourmet treats that even this gourmand can appreciate. My hunger on the one hand seems totally appeased yet I continually crave more of these little snacks to munch on. It is rare these days that one can feel so totally satisfied by such a specialized menu. (contradictions?)

I’m sitting here at a chess table in the newly renovated park across from my tiny uncomfortable overcrowded apartment, thinking 92 pieces to be eaten and I don’t feel the least bit stuffed, just comfortable as one taste runs into the other like a continuous smorgasbord. The wind is strong. It tries to blow my paper away as I struggle to hold it down while I write, headphones on, listening to this cd on an outdated portable player. I can also hear all the sounds around me as they bleed into my ears mingling with the music to form a new form. “isn’t art wonderful?” I muse. Then I think “who am I trying to put the blame on?” Well no one I answer to no one in particular. The strong smell of ammonia mingles with the smells from the pizza shop across the street. I feel like the strongest man on earth for an instance.


“What makes this the land of the free and the home of the brave?” I ask myself. Well places like Ben’s pizza and the fact that their awning says they specilize (their spelling not mine) in everything from calzone to home made italian ices. They even serve hot hero(e)s it says as I listen to this hot heroine feed me a feast of muse-oetry. And like Ben’s it delivers the food right to my door step filling my system with good eats.

All these little entrees (the French meaning not the American)

I’ve always felt that the appetizers at a grand affair were always better than the main course

“Why did I get up this morning?” Well to eat. Drink (lots of coffee). See the wife. Friends. Make collages. Write postcards. And listen to this meal and write these notes. To capture these pages as they continually try to blow away in a mid-summer wind. To again sit amazed at this perfect bridge between music and poesie . This uncorrupted synthesis. Banners with blurred language are being blown about. The traffic is as silent as waves. Tennis balls bong off the walls behind me. Rackets crack. Doors slam. The sun is setting somewhere out there in the harbor. Accents and meanings rattle around inside my head, find their way to my mouth and circle the superstructure which is my tongue. A guy on a cell phone keeps talking about his grandmother and driving while he repeats the word NARCOLEPSY a lot. “How are you, and why?” I want to ask him or at least how’s your grandmother?

A beautiful angel in purple with silver hi-heels passes. “Why pretend?” or “what are you afraid of?” or “are smiles sexy?” or “why must everybody like you?” or “is your heart in the right place?” or…. Her shoes squeak and make a slight clapping sound.

The voice in my ears modulates slightly… marriage of inside world and outside. Did grandma have narcolepsy? the bird in my ear seems to ask. A child’s voice seeps in. I am swimming out here. “Yes or no dost thou love thy neighbor?” Well do you? Do I? We’re all in the same boat anyway… or are we? I’m swimming here. Wobbly horns. Snappling strings. No thick clouds. Remnants of things to come. “Where do you put your ideals?” “Does easy do it?”

stevedala.jpgI’m on a one way street walking backward.

I have become a fan-at –I-cal fan of these miniatures.

These morsels of life’s investigations.

Released like smoke.

Quickly changing from image to image with little space between.

Many tastes to savor and swallow. GULP.

92 separate gems strung together like one seamless necklace.

Or a string of the best sausages.

“What does it take to lead the rich, full life.?”

This cd.

“What’s to be done?”

Well to consume it all I suppose and then go back for seconds.

steve dalachinsky
nyc 7/20/07


Percaso 27
©+p 2007

Sylvia Nopper: soprano
Marino Pliakas: guitar
Thomas Eckert: clarinet & bassclarinet
Christoph Gallio: soprano & alto sax

Guests: Peter Schärli: trumpet, Bernhard Bamert: trombone, Dominique Girod: double bass, Martin Lorenz: vibes, Ernst Thoma: electronics. All compositions are by Christoph Gallio. Words by Robert Filliou. Recorded 2006 September 3 & 4 at Will-Y Klangdach in Guntershausen by Willy Strehler. Recording supervised by Martin Lorenz. Mixed by Willy Strehler and Christoph Gallio. Mastered at Oakland Recording in Winterthur by Walter Schmid. Liner notes by Steve Dalachinsky. Cover art by Andres Lutz / Anders Guggisberg.