178

Bernardo Sassetti: Ascent

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
I am often a music fanatic before I'm a reviewer. Note to self: read the liner notes of the CDs to which you listen. With apologies to those who always begin with the notes, I tore open the latest by Lisbon-born pianist Bernardo Sassetti, popped it in the player, and gave it a listen or three.

My brain kept registering the music as a soundtrack to some movie. I neglected to verify that Sassetti did in fact combine his skills as a jazz improviser and composer for cinema to create Ascent. His previous discs for the Portuguese Clean Feed label include a ponderous double solo record, Indigo, and a trio outing, Nocturno. He also recorded the music for the soundtrack to the movie The Talented Mr. Ripley.

And there you have it: Sassetti is at home in jazz, cinema and classical realms. His fans should come from listeners of Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans and Brad Mehldau. His music oozes a rich contemplative side, but it doesn't suffer from overindulgence—it probes the depths without being over-sentimental.

He doubles his traditional jazz trio with a second trio of cello and vibraphone, expanding the jazz while contracting the soundtrack music into a chamber setting. The set opens with the minimal and haunting "Do Silêncio Revelação, where his solo hand leaves echoing traces like the lingering scent of a mysterious woman that has left the room seconds before you arrive. Next he slowly opens things with his jazz trio by playing the final phrases of some tragedy. When he includes the second trio of vibes and cello, Sassetti reveals his expansion of musical theory. Yes, the universe is more than your interior world.

The two-part "Mov. Contrário Um dia, através do vidro begins a spectacular journey, engaging the double trio in an ever-changing landscape of mood and tempo. Likewise, "(In)diferente, a pulsing jazz trio track, rattles the windows with precise swing and percussive playing. Sassetti can certainly mine the emotional content, even if it is in the quietness of the piano/cello opening to "Da Noite Ao silêncio"—with its child-like awed feel.

Kudos to Bernardo Sassetti and this most beautiful recording.


Track Listing: Do Sil

Personnel: Bernardo Sassetti: piano; Ajda Zupancic: cello; Alexandre Fraz

Title: Ascent | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Pathways" CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Trickster" CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Glenn Gould in Russia: Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Webern, Krenek" CD/LP/Track Review Glenn Gould in Russia: Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Webern, Krenek
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Mask Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Mask Dance
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 3, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.