Steve Baczkowski by Cheryl Gorski
Steve Baczkowski by Cheryl Gorski
photos by Cheryl Gorski
Chris Corsano by Cheryl Gorski


Aug. 15, 2019 at the Sonic Transmissions Series in Austin, TX

Video footage of an outtake from the Mystic Beings recording session.


Steve Baczkowski (reeds) and Chris Corsano (drums) met in 2002, jammed at an old Buffalo ice house, and have played together in various formations ever since: duo, trio with Paul Flaherty (The Dim Bulb,  2005, Wet Paint) and also a quartet with Flaherty and Tony Conrad. Bill Nace (guitar) met Steve in a town famous for hockey sticks, first played together in a converted ice rink, and have recently formed a duo (Live in Buffalo, 2010, 8mm). Chris and Bill formed their duo Vampire Belt in 2002 in what used to be a bait shop. All three paths crossed at once for the first time in Thurston Moore's Dream/Aktion Unit at the Victo festival in 2005. They first toured as a trio and released the Stolen Car LP in 2015. Their second trio recording, Mystic Beings, was released in 2018 on Nace's Open Mouth label.

Buffalo-based saxophonist & multi-instrumentalist Steve Baczkowski performs solo, in trio with drummer Ravi Padmanabha & bassist Brian DeJesus, and in frequent collaborations with guitarist Bill Nace, drummer Chris Corsano, and bassist Brandon Lopez. He works in many groups in and around Buffalo and collaborates with musicians from all over the globe. Old Smoke, a new live trio recording with Lopez & Corsano, will be released on CD by Relative Pitch Records in Spring 2019 & a new recording highlighting Baczkowski's 20-year duo collaboration with Padmanabha will be released on Astral Spirits in the summer.

Bill Nace is an artist and musician based in Philadelphia. He has collaborated with an extraordinary range of musicians, including Michael Morley, Chris Corsano, Steve Baczkowski, Jooklo Duo, Chris Cooper, John Truscinski, Thurston Moore, Greg Kelley, Jake Meginsky, Jessica Rylan, Paul Flaherty, Wally Shoup, and Kim Gordon, with whom he regularly plays as one half of the duo Body/Head. They recently released The Switch on Matador. He has been a featured musician in festivals such as ATP (curated by Jim Jarmusch and held in Monticello, NY), Colour Out of Space (Brighton, UK), Supersonic Festival (Birmingham, UK), International Festival Musique Actuelle (Victoriaville, QC), and Homegrown (Boston, MA). He has performed in a wide variety of venues, running the gamut from the Musee d'Art Contemporain (Strasbourg, France) to The Stone (NYC) to Bennington College (Vermont). Nace’s range has been described as “ veering from sculptural, almost Remko-Scha-esque chime to Loren Connors-style elegance in only a few short moves.” (Mimaroglu Music, 2010). Recordings can be found on Ecstatic Peace (Northampton, MA), Ultra Eczema (Belgium), Holidays (Italy), 8mm (Italy), Throne Heap (VA), HP Cycle (Toronto, ON), as well as on Nace’s own label Open Mouth.

Chris Corsano is the rim-batterer of choice for some of the heaviest contemporary purveyors of both “jazz” (Evan Parker, Paul Flaherty, Joe McPhee, Mette Rasmussen) and “rock” (Björk, Sir Richard Bishop, Bill Orcutt, Jim O'Rourke). Appearing on over 150 albums in a wide variety of collaborations, he's also a formidable solo performer in his own right, generating new worlds of sound that can be heard on his recordings The Young Cricketer, Another Dull Dawn, and Cut. He's been called a "powerhouse drummer" by Rolling Stone, "a peripatetic ace of the avant-garde" by The New York Times, and "arguably the most riotously energetic and creative drummer in contemporary free jazz" by Wire Magazine. In 2013 he was listed as of the '100 Greatest Drummers of Alternative Music' by Spin Magazine.

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Steve Baczkowski-Chris Corsano-Greg Kelley-Bill Nace Live at Spectacle 45rpmLP (Open Mouth OM34, 2013)
Dredd Foole-Steve Baczkowski-Chris Corsano-Bill Nace-Paul Flaherty Wrong Number LP (Open Mouth OM 38, 2014)
Steve Baczkowski-Chris Corsano-Bill Nace Stolen Car LP (UK, Golden Lab ROWF 61, 2015)
Steve Baczkowski-Bill Nace-Chris Corsano Mystic Beings LP (Open Mouth OM57, 2018)

"What we have here is an egalitarian collaboration of three artists at the peak of their creativity. A free jazz blow out that delivers energy and pathos before volume. Being a fan of Chris Corsano’s multiple ways of presenting himself, I must sing praise of Nace’s guitar and the way he presents a sound almost new. He delves deep into psychedelia but not from a rock perspective and not, even, from a jazz one. His guitar sound is unique, conveying feedback into melody, while he teams up with a sax player well known for his volume of sound. In the same egalitarian way, Steve Baczkowski makes room for the guitar to breath, follow and lead. The polyrhythmic barrage of Corsano, joins them but also goes it’s on way...I do not know how they do it, but each artist is presented in two ways: as a soloist and as a member of the trio. I could easily isolate its instrument, follow its path and make something out of it. Really. That good, dear reader." -Fotis Nikolakopoulos (freejazzblog, Jan. 2019)

Steve Baczkowski
Steve Baczkowski by Sheldon Levy

click image for hi-res version
please credit: Sheldon Levy
Bill Nace
Bill Nace by Andrew Kesin

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please credit: Andrew Kesin
Chris Corsano
Chris Corsano by Hrvoje Goluza

click image for hi-res version
please credit: Hrvoje Goluza

Steve Baczkowski by Justin Goetz
photo credit: Justin Goetz

Bill Nace
photo credit: Natasha Pickowicz

Chris Corsano by Nathan Gibson
photo: © N. Gibson 2011