158

The Siena Jazz Band: Abstrutions

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Abstrutions is the second recording by Italy’s Siena Jazz Big Band, which was formed in 1994 as a part of the “Associazone Siena Jazz” school and now includes professional musicians as well as students and amateurs. The band’s earlier album, GOP, comprised of ten songs associated with Duke Ellington and seven with Cannonball Adderley, was given a lukewarm reception by this reviewer.

The band stretches more this time around, covering tunes by a diverse assortment of composers from Django Reinhardt, Fats Waller, Benny Carter and Billy Strayhorn to Keith Jarrett, Wes Montgomery, Stanley Cowell, Tadd Dameron and others. There are two originals, “Psycofarma,” by bassist Franco Fabbrini, and “KV 428” by the band’s director, Klaus Lessman. The album opens and closes with brief renditions of Cannonball’s theme, bassist Sam Jones’s “Unit 7.”

While there’s no doubt that three years have made a difference in the band’s cohesion and prowess, there’s also no doubt that this is basically a college-level ensemble, even though an admirable one in many respects. Brass and reeds are usually on the mark, the rhythm section sharp and supportive, and if the soloists aren’t especially spellbinding they are at least respectable. Lead trumpeter Maurizio Pasqui is a standout on “KV 428” (recorded in concert, with a minor stereo glitch in midstream), guitarist Diego Perugini likewise on the two compositions by Montgomery, “Mr. Walker” and “Movin’ Along.”

Lessman is another of the soloists, unlimbering his clarinet on Reinhardt’s “Lentement, mademoiselle,” Carter’s “Lonesome Nights,” Strayhorn’s “Lotus Blossom” (on which he excels) and “But Not for Me/Tadd‘s Delight,” his soprano sax on “Bem Bom,” one of three vocals by Maria Laura Bigliazzi who returns from GOP (the others are “Frankie and Johnny” and “But Not for Me”). As before, Ms. Bigliazzi has her problems with the English language and seems far more at ease on the Brazilian “Bem Bom,” which she interprets delightfully. In sum, a meaningful step forward for the Siena Jazz Big Band, which continues to advance under Mr. Lessman’s able guidance.

Track Listing: Unit 7; Lentement, mademoiselle; Is It Really the Same?; Mr. Walker; Frankie and Johnny; Psycofarma; Alligator Crawl; Lonesome Nights; Bem Bom; Movin

Personnel: Klaus Lessman, conductor, clarinet, soprano sax; Maurizio Pasqui, Massimo Muratori, Fabrizio Cappelli, Giacomo Uncini, Jan Szurmant, Aldo Iacono, trumpet; Alberto Solari, Massimiliano Santella, Cristian Tognalini, Federico Martini, Erhard Gatterer, trombone; Luca Ravagni, alto sax, flute; Andrea Belleschi, Patrizia Cresti, alto sax; Massimo Guerri, tenor sax, clarinet; Fabio Carboncini, Paolo Galluzzi, tenor sax; Justin Harris, baritone sax; Diego Perugini, guitar; Roberto Bartali, piano; Franco Fabbrini, electric bass; Duccio Venturini, drums; Maria Laura Bigliazzi, vocals.

Year Released: 2004 | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Holiday On Fire CD/LP/Track Review Holiday On Fire
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Calvins Toboggan CD/LP/Track Review Calvins Toboggan
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Silent Light CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read PausaLive CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Steam In The Casa" CD/LP/Track Review Steam In The Casa
by Nicola Negri
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "Resolution" CD/LP/Track Review Resolution
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture" CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Say So" CD/LP/Track Review Say So
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 14, 2016
Read "Iceland" CD/LP/Track Review Iceland
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "A Multitude of Angels" CD/LP/Track Review A Multitude of Angels
by John Kelman
Published: December 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!