How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Reedman/composer Marco Zurzolo sets high standards for himself, evidenced by his latest and previous releases for this Italian record label. Enhanced by pristine audio characteristics, Zurzolo’s arrangements feature heavenly themes and Mediterranean slants amid a cosmopolitan blend of jazzy grooves and soft intervals. The percussionists steer the flow in concert with variable rhythmic metrics, whereas the large ensemble occasionally casts a semi-serious carnival-like atmosphere.
At times you can imagine people dancing on the streets, however Zurzolo’s compositions provide a translucent amalgamation of big band style horn charts along with festive opuses. The artist affords his soloists ample breathing room to complement a series of punchy choruses and some cleverly articulated shifts in strategy. They even break into a Tarantella on the aptly titled piece “Tarantella Segreta.” Simply stated, Zurzolo is a master, who deserves wider recognition on these American shores. His music is warm and soothing without becoming saturated with syrupy choruses. Alternatively, the musicians can turn up the heat on a split second’s notice. Highly recommended...