Andrea Buffa: 30 Years Island (2012)
Multi-reedman Carlo Actis Dato would not seem to be the shy type given his rather aggressive sound and the modalities he employs, which bring together several decades of improvisational influence within a variety of progressive jazz-based formats. Here, woodwind specialist Andrea Buffa steers the ship and, in some instances, equalizes the torrential downpours with blithe segments and a multitude of variable contrasts that generate a holistic group-centered outlook.
With lots of dips, spikes, and groove-based movements, the quartet acutely intersperses Mediterranean folk into the grand schema amid the frothy pulses and whimsical interludes. Indeed, Buffa and Dato are strong foils, working through a hodgepodge of theme-building exercises. This is evident on the intense and up-tempo "Jo Jo (Dow Land)," where the pungent sax and clarinet tradeoffs propose an abundance of beguiling persuasions.
Often tumultuous and straddling the avant-garde spectrum, the band burns through angst-ridden patterns, the members interrogating each other through the improvisational medium. But they lighten the load with a few unconventional nuances on "Soft Memory (Rue L'Ostorion)," as the frontline injects off-kilter deviations and odd-metered voicings into the mix.
From a free-form standpoint, the musicians do not forsake melody, which is an appeasing proposition that offsets the blistering pulses and oscillating horn-initiated detours. And while the artists frequently accelerate matters into tenth gear with high-impact unison choruses and numerous reenergizing sequences, they impart a soulful muse into the briskly moving parts. What they create is a manifold program, brimming with polyrhythmic reconstructions in concert with an extensive musical plane that bears a confederation of gratifying outcomes.
Track Listing: Sing The Lifeguards On The Beach (Beach); Jo Jo (Land); Teimoso (Tanga City); Soft Memory (Rue L'Ostorion); Barley Coffee For Hamlet (Elsinor); Tranzione (Scilla E Cardiddi); Toutes Les Clarinettes En France (Sur Loire); S.P. Shuttle (Mobile Launcher Platform); Don Carlotte (Manze); Serpent's Thought (Apple Field).
Personnel: Andrea Buffa: alto and tenor saxophones, bass clarinet; Carlo Actis Dato: tenor and baritone saxophones, bass clarinet; Fiorenzo Bodrato: double bass, cello; Dario Mazzucco: drums.
Record Label: Leo Records