Valerio Cosi / Enzo Franchini: Conference Of The Aquarians (2008)
Did John Coltrane revisit his minor hit "My Favorite Things" after he met Rashied Ali? If he had, the Rodgers and Hammerstein song might have sounded a bit like saxophonist Valerio Cosi and drummer Enzo Franchini's version, re-titled "Part Seven" on the duo's Conference Of The Aquarians.
The pair recorded this and eight other tracks in July, 2006 in Lecce, Italy, for a small Italian label and it quickly sold out. Thankfully, it has been released anew by the US label Last Visible Dog.
Their duo work and subsequent overdubs register a healthy perspective on music making. Part free/part manipulation, it carries itself as intelligent experimentation. "Part Seven" begins with static distortion and frenetic drumming. As the melody takes shape so does a radio play. The intensitycall it noisebuilds into a swirl of distortion that would make Thurston Moore quite proud.
The purpose here is not just the cacophony. In fact, a lack of discord prevails throughout. The pair has melded free music and thoughtful compositions; electronics added to the very simple and charming guitar melody of "Part Five" creates space age folk. The two stretch out a bit on the irresistible overdubbed groove of the opening "Part One" and the sitar-backed dreams of "Part Three," followed by some saxophone/drums call-and-response "Part Four," and the obligatory noise track, "Part Five."
This hidden gem, now available Stateside is indeed a vital find.
Track Listing: Part One; Part Two; Part Three; Part Four; (Interference); Part Five; Part Six; Part Seven; Conclusion.
Personnel: Enzo Franchini: drums, cymbal, percussion, vibes; Valerio Cosi: alto saxophone, piano, double-bass, sitar, synthesizer, electronics, electric guitar, radio manipulations.