Porter/Di Castri/Sferra Trio: Italian Encounter (2007)
The music is presented unedited and in the sequence it was played. It's a balanced program of what Porter calls the experimental and the lyrical. Despite these divergences, there is a parallel between the two. Each of the musicians brings an enterprising vision and an edge to even the most lyrical of tunes, a prime examples being "Lester Young Samba.
Porter can indulge in a melody and draw it out, exposing its spell charmingly. He illuminates his runs with little spaces and in a welter of notes that tumble and roar. He also has a penchant for unleashing a thunderous chord unexpectedly, but it sits perfectly in the frame of his progression. The impact is made complete by di Castri and Sferra, the former a rudder, the latter flexing the rhythm and then coming up with an earthy, solid spell on his own.
Wine Hot/Three as One was totally improvised. The near eleven-minute track is almost equally divided between a bass solo and trio outing. "Wine Hot is nicely worked, Di Castri giving it a wisp of melody, his notes lustrous and his playing unhurried as he commands attention. "Three as One is the symbiosis of the individuals that make up this whole, and a constant fount of surprise. The bass yowls, the drums shimmer to a scattershot rhythm, the strings of the piano are plucked. Tempo changes, a flit of melody, a drawing back to let space take a breath; nothing is static.
Again and Again (ii-V-I), a lovely ballad, is perfectly mainstream. Porter weaves a rich melodic tapestry, his vivid colors brushed with a flurry or daubed with resolute emphasis. Di Castri and Sferra firm the tune with their dexterity.
Track Listing: Blues for Siena; Cherokee Variation; A Summer Night; Wine Hot/Three as One; Body and Soul; Lester Young Samba; Again and Again (ii-V-I).
Personnel: Lewis Porter: piano; Furio di Castri: double-bass; Fabrizio Sferra: drums.
Record Label: Altrisuoni