Chris Gestrin: after the city has gone : quiet

Chris Gestrin: after the city has gone : quiet

Songlines  SGL SA1568-2 (2 discs)

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid


"after the city has gone : quiet"

Chris Gestrin (piano, prepared piano, percussion)
Joseph Pepe Danza (shakuhachi, percussion, hang, ney)
Ron Samworth (guitar)
Miles Black (piano)
Peggy Lee (cello)
Jon Bentley (saxophones)
Bernie Arai (drums)
Gordon Grdina (guitar, dobro)
Bill Clark, JP Carter (trumpet)
Jeremy Berkman (trombone)
Jesse Zubot (violin)
Dylan van der Schyff (drums)

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DSD recording
Disc 1:
1. Metres per Second
2. To Sink in Posture
3. Living Candles
4. Viewpoint 1
5. Prelude in D
6. Turnstile
7. Many Skies
8. Beauty Walks in this World
9. Bees
10. The Seeds of my Departure
11. Viewpoint 2
12. As Pointless as the Weather
13. D.S.
14. With such Unsettled Heart
15. The Loves of the Angels

Disc 2:
1. Write by Return to your Longing
2. The Melody that is
3. Guilty Gates
4. #47
5. Moonshine Run
6. Command and Promise
7. On the Back of a Tiger
8. The Lasting Taste of Spring
9. Storied Walls
10. Silence of Faded Emblem
11. The Evening's Influence
12. The Phonometrographs and the Turing Machine
13. Meet me at Uji Bridge
Reviews (1)

Review by Mark Werlin - February 8, 2024

In an expansive sequence of instrumental duos and trios, pianist-composer Chris Gestrin inspires a community of musicians to improvise meditative soundscapes.

Investigation is the driver of creative chamber jazz. In the 28 tracks of “after the city has gone : quiet”, pianist-composer Chris Gestrin engages in thoughtful, penetrating dialogues and trialogues with 12 of his Vancouver-based new music colleagues. It’s a bravura concept, realized through elegant performances in superb sonics.

Even in a musical community as talented and diverse as Vancouver’s, Chris Gestrin stands out; he composes, performs, arranges, and produces music in a wide range of ensembles and genres. In recent years, he’s been the post-production mastering engineer for most Songlines releases. The aspect of his work documented on “after the city as gone : quiet” and on the subsequent Songlines release “The Distance” reveals a sure command of his instrument and a searching quality to his compositions. Gestrin doesn’t presume to have all the answers: he and his colleagues are looking with open minds at the questions that new music asks.

The two-hour total running time might preclude playing in its entirety, but in two listening sessions of around one hour each, the album can be appreciated as a type of musical meditation. The interspersing of Chris Gestrin’s piano solos with duos and trios invites commitment to longer stretches of listening.

The first four tracks move through an airy encounter of piano with Peggy Lee’s cello; an essay for piano and two trumpets; a modern jazz composition for piano, saxophone and drums that wouldn’t be out of place on an ECM album; and finally, a piano and percussion duo. Track 5, the piano solo entitled “Prelude in D”, seems like a natural break between the preceding pieces and the next group of tunes.

Most of the musicians who collaborated with Gestrin on this album can he heard in other recordings on Songlines. Cellist Peggy Lee and saxophonist Jon Bentley are long-time members of the trio Waxwing; Lee, Bentley, drummer Dylan van der Schyff, guitarist Ron Samworth and trombonist Jeremy Berkman all participated in The Peggy Lee Band’s 2023 Songlines release “A Giving Way”.

Gestrin’s insight into the sounds and capabilities of each of the players gives each grouping a different focus: with Lee, he explores pure sound, with Bentley, the lyricism of melodic invention. Gestrin’s duo with Dylan van der Schyff (“Many Skies”) is a standout demonstration-quality track for audio systems. The drum kit is set back and slightly right, in a highly realistic representation, one of the strengths of original DSD recording.

The support of Canada Council for the Arts, Songlines’ Tony Reif, and the many musicians who collaborated with him made it possible for Chris Gestrin to realize his spacious, open-ended vision.

Most Songlines SACDs are still in stock at our site partners; purchasing through the posted links helps to support this site. Music lovers who prefer hi-res and DSD files can find Songlines albums at download vendors in the EU and North America.

Copyright © 2024 Mark Werlin and


Sonics (Stereo):

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