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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Enrico Rava: Rava on the Dance Floor

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Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava doing a tribute to the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson? Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava doing a tribute to the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, on ECM? If either of these concepts seem somehow wrong, it's likely because, in forty-plus years, ECM has garnered (beyond its reputation as one of the most important labels in the history of music) its share of magical (and incorrect) thinking. Rava, it turns, out, hadn't paid much attention to Jackson until the pop star passed away in 2009. Soon after, finding his wife watching a Jackson concert DVD, Rava ...

INTERVIEWS

Enrico Rava: To Be Free or Not To Be Free

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Freedom, it could be argued, is most deeply understood by those who have been somehow constrained against their will, or who have been prisoners of their own skewed vision of what it means to be free. Trumpeter Enrico Rava knows the meaning of musical freedom; he was part of the free-jazz scene of the 1960s and 1970s where chords were frowned upon, and made recordings almost at will in the 80s and 90s, “many of which were not necessary," he freely admits. Rava has learned that true artistic freedom does not lie in allegiance to a school centered on a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Enrico Rava Quintet: Tribe

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Trumpeter Enrico Rava has enjoyed a sustained late-career, creative high since returning to ECM with Easy Living (ECM, 2004) after an absence of 20 years. With a largely new and exciting lineup, Tribe balances new compositions with reworked older material, all imbued with Rava's trademark lyricism, embracing warmth and melodic strength. As the 2008 Touchstone Series reissue of The Pilgrim and the Stars (ECM 1975) demonstrated, Rava's music from nearly four decades ago still sounds remarkably fresh today, and this group excels in bringing new luster to the old, as well as youthful vitality to the new. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Enrico Rava Quintet: Tribe

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Italian trumpet virtuoso Enrico Rava masters improvised atmospheric landscapes on Tribe. His thick, dark horn quests for firm structure and often, not finding anything solid, rolls back and forth over the rhythm section as it collaboratively meanders through the soundscape. Being drawn into the adventure is almost irresistible. “Amnesia" sets the expectation that this will be an exploratory affair, with the horns washing over the rolling arpeggios of the piano and arrhythmic bass and drum lines. Slow and melancholy--almost dirge-like--it drifts along, its saving grace lying in its melodic beauty.Rava has chosen a somewhat unusual, and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Enrico Rava Quintet: Tribe

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Plenty has happened since Enrico Rava last recorded with his working quintet. All but the piano chair remained stable between Easy Living (ECM, 2004) and The Words And The Days (ECM, 2007), but trombonist Gianluca Petrella is the sole remnant on Tribe. “Change is good," they say, and if the rest of Rava's quintet consists of largely fresh (and young) faces, the lack of name power shouldn't be mistaken for lack of firepower. In a post-show interview following a blistering set with his New York Days (ECM, 2009) quintet in Germany--part of Enjoy Jazz 2009's 40th anniversary ...

LIVE REVIEWS

European Jazz Expo in Cagliari, Sardinia

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European Jazz ExpoCagliari, Sardinia November 20-22, 2009

The hot summer slowdown is finished for Sardinia. Quietness and sophisticated melancholy embraced the island and made it a perfect place for jazz.

From November 20th to 22 the Sardinian capital Cagliari hosted the annual jazz festival, known for the last five years as the European Jazz Expo. The event has an impressive history with guests like Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock and B.B. King. Attracting numerous visitors to the halls of Cagliari Fair, the festival offered a vivid mixture of traditional and experimental ...

LIVE REVIEWS

ECM at 40: Enjoy Jazz Festival: Days 3-6, October 22-25, 2009

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Days 1-2 | Day 3-6 | Days 7-10 | Days 11-12 ECM at 40. It's hard to believe that a record label responsible for stretching the boundaries of modern music has survived the various crises that have threatened and, in some cases, decimated so many others. With Enjoy Jazz's “The Blue Sound: 40 Years of ECM" festival-within-a-festival, it's as good a time as any to take stock of where the label has been, where it is, and where's it's going. In a press conference that took place prior to the first evening's concerts, label head/producer Manfred ...



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