Stefano Ferrian - soprano / tenor saxophone
Luca Pissavini - double bass
Vito Emanuele Galante - trumpet
Simone Quatrana - piano
Fabrizio Carriero - drums
dEN records 2012
Italy has been for often a safe haven for jazz music, if it were not for the labels like Soul Note or Black Saint work of the many jazz innovators would be left undocumented. Ironically enough on this blog were recently reviewed albums recorded by italian groups but released by british Leo Records. It's time for the italian group, presented by an italian label and here where Ferrian's Nutimbre and dEN records label come to play with it's conceptually packaged cd(white paper sleeve with black leaflet that correctly inserted inside displays the band's name on the outer cover). Nevermind the packaging though, what is inside is kind of music that with its first notes lets you know: this is jazz. this is fun.
"Oblique" starts with quirky monk-esque melodic goofy jumps on notes, features a fine hard-boppish trumpet solo. "Undesir" gets more into abstract territories with impressionistic, sharp horn dialogues accompanied by funky hard-boppish boppish piano's left hand line. The unisonos and perfectly atonal dissonances follow each follow each other in sequences and the piece follows into misty accompaniament to the bass solo until it falls back to the heavy hard-boppish beat, slightly funky drum brakes and deconstructive piano solo (possibly my favourite of the cd). But there's also the melancholic, lyrically intense "Leaves" featuring beatifully soulfull, "smoky" warm tone of tenor with its passionate vibrato) and poignant, crisp tone of trumpet (brilliantl duo with the ornamental chords of the piano). Just with those first tree pieces of the album the band's takes you back in time, to the golden era of jazz, you'll hear meet here the quirky ideas of Monk, the funky boppish energy of Horace Silver, the lyrical charm of Dexter Gordon and spiritual, intense focus of early Coltrane, free bop spontaneity of Ornette.
And there's much more of that. "Risk" swings lighly and shamelessly with joyfull solo exchanges.
"Hazardscapes" is a carefully woven group improvisation, focused, restrained, where silence and echoe fills the space as much as suspended, prolongued chords of the piano, metallic small noises and long tones of the trumpet. "Neuphoria" brings back the wonderful monk's spirit, quirky theme, harmonic jumps and after the short introduction piano flying swiflty over bass (walking) running at full speed. "Terra Non Firma" is soprano sax - piano duo in the spirit of Coltrane - Tyner dense and spiritual interplays.
Now this quintet may not play anything particularly new, but their music is undeniably fresh and dynamic and vital. This is jazz, modern yet rooted in the traditions of hard-bop and New Thing, coming back to the times where the avant-guarde was in the process of creation and breaking the rules and tresspassing the limits were still exciting and rare. The band plays openly with all those traditions and conventions. This is as much a reconstruction as playfull deconstruction of those. One way or another, this is jazz. And it's fun.
some tracks from the cd are presented in this radio playlist.
listen to "Oblique" and see the fragment of band's live performance: