Acoustic and electric bassist Max Gerl releases his debut record, “Tbilisi”, featuring original jazz/fusion compositions, on Brooklyn – based label Dolfin Records. The album also features tenor saxophonist Aaron Shaw, pianist Paul Cornish, and drummer Mike Mitchell.
“The record is titled ‘Tbilisi’ after the capital city of the eastern European country, Georgia”, says Gerl. “I have played with Georgian musicians in Tbilisi a number of times since 2015, most notably pianist Beka Gochiashvili. I’ve grown to love Tbilisi for its people and culture.”
The title track is inspired by my experiences in the old city. The song’s relentless tempo and aggressive groove are congruent with Gochiashvili’s fast-paced Georgian fusion. The second song and acoustic bass feature, “If It Happened to Me”, is a loose contrafact of one of Gerl’s favorite jazz standards, “It Could Happen to You”. The third song, “Suntrip”, pays homage to the John Coltrane album, “Sun Ship”, specifically the track, “Dearly Beloved”. The fourth and final song, “Counter”, is written with an uneven form, consisting of three sections. The first section is nine bars, the second is twelve, and the third is ten bars. The intricate form and chord structure force the band out of the comfortable familiarity of traditional four - bar phrasing.
Legendary bassist Stanley Clarke writes in the CD’s liner notes: “When I first heard Maximilian, I was impressed with his steadiness, along with his outstanding technique and dexterity on both instruments, which he uses to make next level music. On this recording he displays himself how one should, as an artistically driven bass player. His album is full of well-written music.”
“Tbilisi” is available on all streaming platforms, and at maxgerl.bandcamp.com as a digital download or CD hardcopy.