The December Thirty Jazz Trio: Free For 3 (2003)
It is said that time and tide wait for no man. Time, however, has waited for this trio. Their first recording, The Street One Year After, was released in 1991. Since then they have released two more, both in the last decade. And now, here they are again with one more. As for the tide, it still roars in their favour. The music is at once electrifying, emerging from the heartland of musicians who have an apparent affinity with each other. It is no secret that despite the sporadic trips to the studio, they have been playing concerts together. This, perhaps more than anything else, continues to make them a cohesive force.
Freedom is the essence of their expression, but in seeking it they do not always desert melody. They build and expand and often mould an inventive concept out of disparate strands. Ochhipinti leads the charge on the first tune, building his story through a scurrying welter of notes that gather momentum, and then as bass and drums stir the action, explodes in euphoric frenzy. The last notes come from a bowed bass which turns out to be the harbinger for Guarrella and “Before the New Street,” where his opening phrases are short and thick. As he goes into a more detailed expostulation opening the tonality of the bass, Branciamore tackles time with offbeat phrases and Ochhipnti slowly but surely ups the tempo. The third segment is for Branciamore, his accents on the cymbals and snares and his trapping testifying to an unique esthetic. And then it is melody time, pronounced in a blistering, but nonetheless, straight ahead manner.
Ochhipinti is in exceptional form on the solo “Novelle Siciliana Per Piano Forte Solo In Forma De Ballata,” his right hand the messenger for delectable melodic resolutions, his left stabbing chords with a deft authority. The third suite is stunning in its intensity without being overwhelming. Once again the clean lines bridge the evolution of the music and make it compelling, as on “Hommage” where the bent notes and orchestration that Guarrella evokes through arco lead to the calmer pianism of Ochhipinti. The equation is altered on “Basic Music,” which emerges imaginatively through the interweaving of the soundscapes each constructs.
This one was well worth the wait.
Track Listing: De Werf Suite: Bruggerie To De Werf; Before The New Street; The New Street In Old City; Mons Inspirations: Ricecare Con Motto; To Janina Davidovic; Novelle Siciliana Per Piano Forte Solo In Forma De Ballata; La Tentation Suite: Basic Music; Hommage; Pyramindes
Personnel: Giorgio Occhipinti