Recorded in 1988 and originally released on the “A Tempo” label, Unknown Voyage is a worthy reissue featuring the “Furio Di Castri/Joe Lovano Quartet” - brought to us from the folks at “Newtone” records. Although billed as a quartet, the musical format here also comprises a series of duets and piano trio settings. Drummer Paul Motian and saxophonist Joe Lovano were doing quite a bit of recording back in the mid to late 80’s and here connect with some mighty fine talent, featuring bassist Furio Di Castri and pianist Franco D’ Andrea who are among Europe’s leading exponents of modern and mainstream jazz....
Beautifully recorded, the musicians are in top form on this date, as Motian and Di Castri perform loosely structured rhythms on the title track, “Unknown Voyage” and throughout. Yet on this piece, tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano craftily insinuates the main theme via his brisk and somewhat bouncy lines while pianist Franco D’Andrea pursues lyrically rich motifs along a mid-tempo path. The composition titled, “Lichtung” is all about multi-layered textures, surging progressions, shade and tonal color, further enhanced by Lovano’s angular and somewhat bluesy lines as D’Andrea implements huge, sonorous block chords and glistening crescendos, all performed in climactic fashion! Di Castri and D’ Andrea turn in a melodious and thoroughly introspective duet on “Waiting” while D’ Andrea works the upper registers within the piano trio format on “Life Song”. Here, we are apt to drift off into a state of bliss via the musician’s implementations of shifting rhythms and dreamy passages. The final composition, “Zec” is a radiant post bop burner as trumpeter Flavio Boltro steps in, D’ Andrea steps out and drummer Manhu Roche trades places with Paul Motian. On this piece, Boltro and Lovano swap rapid fours amid a fervent swing pulse as they also augment the engaging melody line with sharp unison choruses.
Unknown Voyage is sort of like a surprise party for jazz aficionados or perhaps just a - very timely – present, thanks to the folks at the “Felmay/Newtone” distribution and record label who continue to find and reissue noteworthy material for the global jazz population. - - And for additional information you might want to peruse their website at: www.felmay.it
* * * * (out of * * * * *)
Furio Di Castri; Bass (Composer): Joe Lovano; Tenor Saxophone: Paul Motian; Drums (# 1-10): Franco D