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Live Reviews

Umbria Jazz Winter #18 Days 3-5: December 31, 2010-January 2, 2011

By Published: January 19, 2011
Dominated by a big band atmosphere, and heightened with the soft caliber of the saxophones' vibratos, it was easy to suddenly feel drawn into a Great Gatsby-like party. Danceable, lively arrangements followed the path traced by Zoot Sims
Zoot Sims
Zoot Sims
1925 - 1985
sax, tenor
and Gerry Mulligan
Gerry Mulligan
Gerry Mulligan
1927 - 1996
sax, baritone
in "Red Door," and by Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
1899 - 1974
in "Jump for Joy." The group also exploited the romantic potential of Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
1915 - 1959
's "I'm a Fool to Want You," its warm tonalities never succumbing to the threat of sugar-coated sentimentality.

While the magically intertwined saxophones and impeccable drums represented the leading, outgoing and smiley section of the band, Forbes still managed to stick out through his intimate, almost spiritual approach. This was particularly noticeable when married, together with Chuck Riggs' sensitive drumming, to Rosario Sportiello's elegant and soulful version of "Sunday."

One Hand Jack, Una Musica da Dio

Freely based on a short story written by Stefano Benni, One Hand Jack was a multimedia show featuring bassist Enzo Pietropaoli and pianist Julian Mazzariello, with narrators Elizabetta Spallaccia and Daniele Barcaroli; coordination and visuals by Massimo Achilli; and illustrations by Alessandro Marini.

The story, which mixed fairy tale, noir and bildungsroman, followed the adventures of a curious boy, Jack, who falls in love with the double-bass and manages to play it, and play it well, despite his lacking one arm. Live jazz and illustrations combined with refined delicacy, and repertoire videos from the 1930 and '40s contributed to a marvelous transition between scenes. It was the touching work of an ensemble of sensitive professionals, which would inspire any young child to choose an instrument and discover the magic of jazz (and music as a whole) within it.

Musica Jazz Presents: "Top Jazz 2010"

Umbria Jazz Winter 2010 ended on the notes of an all-star concert, conceived to celebrate the best Italian jazz musicians of the year, according to the Musica Jazz magazine's poll. One of the most interesting prizes was that given to the best new talent of 2010—bassist Silvia Bolognesi, a sophisticated musician who chooses the unexpected as the core of her sound. Following the example of her mentor, William Parker
William Parker
William Parker
bass, acoustic
, she will certainly continue leaving her audience in awe, as she did while opening the ceremony with electric violinist Stefano Pastor.

As with this talented new entry, the other prizes represented an exciting image of the state of the art of Italian jazz in 2010: an enthusiastic, colorful creature, with a wise soul—turning each project into the opportunity to poetically tame entropy through a series of improvisational spells.

    Musica Jazz Top 2010 official winners:

  1. Rosario Giuliani: saxophone;
  2. Composer: Paolo Damiani;
  3. Piano: Danilo Rea;
  4. Album of the Year: Francesco Bearzatti;
  5. Guitar: Roberto Cecchetto;
  6. Best Group: Tinissima 4tet;
  7. Bass: Danilo Gallo;
  8. Best New Talent: Silvia Bolognesi;
  9. Musician of the Year: Stefano Bollani;
  10. Miscellaneous Instrument: Stefano Pastor;
  11. Drums: Roberto Gatto;
  12. Trumpet: Fabrizio Bosso.

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Umbria Jazz Winter

Days 1-2 | Days 3-5

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