Claudio Scolari: Synthesis (2012)
Scolari and Daniele Cavalca are each responsible for a laundry list of instruments. Both men cover percussion, piano and synthesizers at various times, but that's where the overlap ends. Scolari holds exclusive rights to the drumming and (infrequent) flute work, while Cavalca covers bass, melodica and vibraphone. The leader's gifted offspring, Simone Scolari, sticks with trumpet throughout the recording, capable of providing a bluesy melodic beacon in a sea of uncertainty ("Synthesis"), delivering chilling, riveting work ("Fragments Of Autumn") or rocking out atop a steady groove that lapses into some piano and trumpet call-and-response ether ("Rebirth").
Claudio Scolari and company dip into free jazz waters, but never completely immerses itself there. A sense of rhythm, melody or harmony is apparent at every turn, but all three might not exist at the same time. Brief swells and clattering percussion swarm around a pleasing trumpet riff in one place ("Synthesis"), while two men convincingly create the illusion of an exploratory piano trio in another ("Dialogue"). Industrial music merges with tropicalia, as a Thelonious Monk-like riff briefly drops in for good measure on "Rituals," while the true artistic brilliance of this trio shines on the moody "Fragment Of Autumn."
While it's certainly a cliché, it's not inaccurate to say that Synthesis lives up to its name. Claudio Scolari blends styles, blurs lines and makes compelling music throughout this impressive outing.
Track Listing: Synthesis; Expression Of Image; Dialogue; Rituals; Fragment Of Autumn; Rebirth; Hymn Of The Inventions.
Personnel: Claudio Scolari: drums, percussion, flute, piano, synthesizers; Daniele Cavalca: melodica, drums, percussion, piano, synthesizers, vibraphone, bass; Simone Scolari: trumpet.
Record Label: Principal Records
Style: Modern Jazz