Rudi Records: Reviving the Avant-garde
The title track, with its classic opening of drums and saxophone in a heated duet, becomes the blueprint for the rest of the album where complex breaks, pulsating grooves and epic sax solos are the order of the day.
While bassist Giovanni Maier and drummer Luca Colussi clearly have their chops, the deep-rooted feeling of the blues saves the music from too much flash. The quartet knows how to make a tune cook, but Tull is also an accomplished balladeer. His writing and playing skills are pleasantly on display on the tender "Corto," which also sports a tasty trombone solo from Lauro Rossi.
Enhancing the whole experience of the record is the warm and clear sound, perfectly captured by Stefano Amerio in his Artesuono Recording Studios, where pianist John Law also recorded his series The Art of Sound Vol.1-4.
In short, Boparte is a quality record in sound, writing and playing. While it may not be the most groundbreaking item in the catalog, it is a typical example of the high artistic standard of Rudi Records.
Massimo De Mattia
Flutist Massimo De Mattia can be counted among some of the interesting players and composers on the Italian jazz scene. Even in the always experimental Rudi Catalog, his music stands out with its spacious lyricism and exploration of alternative forms of instrumentation.
Based around the combination of flute, vibraphone, guitar, bass and piano, Black Novel sounds like a futuristic version of The Modern Jazz Quartet. Writing about the music in his liner notes, Flavio Messarutto emphasizes that: "The rhythmic layering constantly changes with urgent pulsing and cyclical repetitions. Passages are deconstructed and reconstructed with all musicians playing continuously."
While the sound of the album is pleasant, at times almost cocktail-like, what is revealed through listening is a complex, organic structure that seems to breathe life into itself. Listening to De Mattia's music is a surreal experience of hearing the instruments play on their own, as if they were removed from the musicians, dancing around in space like musical figures in an abstract painting. There are links to free jazz of 1970s and references to all the pages of jazz history, from ragtime to post-bop, but the group creates a vocabulary that is entirely its own.
Black Novel is one of the many records in the Rudi catalog that attempts to redefine how we listen to music. Tradition is referenced and destroyed through the individual language of highly original musicians. In the best of all worlds, this is what the avant-garde is all about and Rudi Records is a prime example of how it isn't just an emblem of empty prejudice, but also the (re)creation of a musical language.
Tracks and Personnel
October Songs: Play the Songs of Leonard Cohen
Tracks: You Know Who I Am; So Long Marianne; Dance Me to the End of Love; Stories of the Street; Little America; Hallelujah; Suzanne; Teachers; Bird on the Wire; If It Be Your Will.
Personnel: Eugenio Colombo: alto and soprano saxophone, flute; Raffaella Misiti: vocal.
Wind & Slap
Tracks: Quiet as a Bone; As Tone Lies Lost; As the Heartless Ghost; As They Dive; As in my Bones; This Shade; Beautiful Roots; Holy Leaves; In the Wind's Wakes; As a Purple Sofa; She Was Still Stoned; As an Empty Stone; As a Strange Tongue; About Sleepwalkers and Wind; Stones and Deadwood; Wind and Slap.
Personnel: Giancarlo Schiaffini: trombone, tuba, euphonium; Sebi Tramontana: trombone, euphonium.
When We Forgot the Melody
Tracks: When We Forgot the Melody; 2nd Time We Forgot the Melody; 3rd Time We Forgot the Melody; 4th Time We Forgot the Melody; 5th Time We Forgot the Melody; 6th Time We Forgot the Melody; 7th Time We Forgot the Melody; 8th Time We Forgot the Melody; 9th Time We Forgot the Melody.
Personnel: Dimitri Grechi Espinoza: alto saxophone; Tito Mangialajo Rantzer: bass.
Holidays in Siena
Tracks: Glory; 2 With 3; Walts for Jack; Flavio's Wine; Double S; It Will Be Heaven in 2011; Hugs; Sunset in Legoli.
Personnel: Sabir Mateen: alto & tenor saxophone, flute, piccolo, Bb clarinet; Silvia Bolognesi: double bass.
Hear in Now
Tracks: Cakewalk; Spiderwoman; Bassolo / Far East Suite; La citta' di Lop; L'albero secco; Effendi; Ova; Impro 1; Ponce; Malitalian Lullaby.
Personnel: Mazz Swift: violin; Tomeka Reid: cello; Silvia Bolognese: double bass.
Tracks: Light Lions; Aria; All Hostages; Walkies; Estremo Est; Sambuco.
Personnel: Sandro Satta: alto saxophone; Roberto Bellatalla: double bass; Fabrizio Spera: drums.
Tracks: Boparte; C2O; Corto; Lucifero's cabaret; My Works; Onda Lunga; Wingrocks.
Personnel: Giuliano Tull: alto saxophone; Lauro Rossi: trombone; Giovanni Maier: double bass; Luca Colussi: drums.
Tracks: Hieronymus; Full Blue; Black Novel; Seppuka/Mishima; War Hole; Nitesco; Tortured Flowers.
Personnel: Massimo De Mattia: flutes; Luigi Vitale: Vibraphone, marimba; Denis Biason: guitars; Alessandro Turchet: double bass; Bruno Cesselli.