Fabio Giachino: At The Edges Of The Horizon

Don Phipps By

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The set of invigorating and hard-driving straight-ahead jazz tunes on Italian pianist and composer Fabio Giachino's At The Edges Of The Horizon offers non-stop interplay and flowing syncopation. There's a certain funky richness to the music, and Giachino's bandmates make the most of the flow of the music, highlighting the rhythmic variations with technical virtuosity.

Giachino's own piano style is lyrical and only slightly abstract. He covers the keys easily, like a deer racing through the woods, and he adds electronics on some numbers to spice things up (for example, "Grimilde's Mirror"). Bassist Davide Liberti and drummer Ruben Bellavia provide a strong underpinning to the tunes as well as intense solos that sparkle and push the music along.

Giachino chose to add on half the compositions a trombone, sax, bass clarinet, and there is a definite big band feel to these pieces —but more of a glossy big band than one that suggests a rawer element. For instance, the title cut, "At The Edges Of The Horizon," has a number of these components: a fast and fluid pace, Bellavia's all over but controlled drumming, horns and winds emulating a big band sound, and Liberti's hard charging bass.

"Nibiru's Edges," suggests a serpentine dance, where Giachino's angular and jagged lines flow upward and downward along the keys. Bellavia remains busy underneath. "Cold Coffee" is a dreamy, romantic showcase. Liberti has a strong running solo on this number and Giachino adds flourishes and a bit of blues in his solo—which at its best reveals an intimacy at play. "Spaceshift," where vocalist Giulia Damico makes her only (and brief) appearance, is a soft ballad. Even here though, Giachino chooses to fill the space with effects and embellishments instead of giving the tune a chance to breath.

At The Edges Of The Horizon is an engaging effort, enhanced by Giachino's quick fingerings and his exchanges with Liberti and Bellavia. It feels breathless though—in a word, busy—as if the music has no space to reveal itself. The roller coaster accelerates and never slows. Whether this musical bravado needs to open up is for the listener to decide.

Track Listing: At The Edges Of The Horizon; Kcihc Aeroc; Cold Coffee; Bread Way; Grimilde's Mirror; Bass Instinct; Nibiru's Edges; Don't Try This At Home; Spaceshift; Abstract Orbit.

Personnel: Fabio Giachino: piano, electronics; Luca Begonia: trombone; Paolo Porta: tenor sax, bass clarinet; Davide Liberti: double bass; Ruben Bellavia: drums; Gianni Virone: tenor sax, bass clarinet; Cesare Mecca: trumpet; Giulia Damico: vocal (9).

Title: At The Edges Of The Horizon | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: CAM Jazz

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