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Erika Dagnino / Stefano Pastor / George Haslam / Steve Waterman: Narcéte (2012)

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Erika Dagnino / Stefano Pastor / George Haslam / Steve Waterman: Narcéte How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

This Anglo-Italian quartet presents its version of improvised jazz with poetry. The Italian side comes from poet and writer Erika Dagnino—who recites her poems in English—and violinist and double bassist Stefano Pastor. Their English partners are veteran improvisers and frequent collaborators, saxophonist George Haslam
George Haslam
b.1939
sax, baritone
and trumpeter Steve Waterman.

This recording features a happy marriage between the serious, orderly and expressive reciting of the poems and playful, instrumental improvisations. None is being subjected to the other—there is enough room for equal contributions from Dagnino and the musicians with overall respect and organic interplay of likeminded spirits.

Dagnino's poems offer observant insights into nature's ever changing phenomena and her commentary on her state of mind while observing these sights. The poems suggest new comprehensions about these expressions and cross each other, thus her poetic art, in its delivery, refers to itself. As can be heard on "Chant VI" where she recites: "you can hear words multiply; the variations thicken with words, the words thicken with religions." She does not attempt to accommodate her reading to the sounds or rhythms and it obvious that the music is meant to encompass the poems.

The improvised segments are inventive and set the atmosphere for the observations and the inner turmoil delivered in the suggestive poetic lines, often as introductions and epilogues. On "Chant V" the music softens the distant and pessimistic words: "the human meetings are illusions of symposiums in the latest fashion, where we do not learn to die" and on "Chant VII" it emphasizes the reserved anger.

This is a highly original and rewarding album.

Track Listing: Chant I; Chant II; Chant III; Chant IV; Chant V; Chant VI; Chant VII; . Chant VIII; Chant IX; Chant X.

Personnel: Erika Dagnino: poetry, voice; Stefano Pastor: violin, double bass; Steve Waterman: trumpet; George Haslam: baritone sax, tarogato.

Record Label: Slam Records


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