American trumpeter/educator, Dr. Kyle Gregory performs with an Italian rhythm section on Sing Without Words
. With this release, the ensemble melds free jazz and contemporary classical with odd-metered time signatures as the soloists deconstruct and reinvent intricately devised themes. However, the listener may need to crank up the volume a bit on his or her sound system as the recorded mix and relatively flat sonic characteristics elicit notions that the musicians were performing in separate rooms. Otherwise, Gregory provides a good deal of excitement via his fat, brassy tone and fluent lines amid pianist Paolo Birro’s percussive statements, circular passages, linear motifs and climactic chord progressions, witnessed on the opener, “In Su Mare and “The Least Of These”. Additionally, the superfine drummer, Roberto Dani exhibits his multitasking tendencies as he incorporates swashes of disparate tonalities and polyrhythmic fills throughout the entire production.
The band pursues a hauntingly beautiful melody on “Pensamentu,” while they integrate vivacious dialogue and steamy discourses into “Three Sudden Movements.” Here, Birro renders a series of Thelonious Monk-like rhythmic flurries atop bassist Salvatore Maiore and Dani’s sinewy undercurrents. - Besides a few minor beefs with the audio engineering, this project contains several riveting moments via the artists’ intuitive exchanges and prominently displayed synergy.
Personnel: Paolo Birro; piano: Roberto Dani; drums: Kyle Gregory; trumpet & flugelhorn: Salvatore Maiore; double bass.