Tchicai/Fewell/Della Porta/Tracanna/Manzi: Big Chief Dreaming


Sign in to view read count
Tchicai/Fewell/Della Porta/Tracanna/Manzi: Big Chief Dreaming Big Chief Dreaming is a collaborative effort of international musicians from the US, France, and Italy. Danish reedman John Tchicai, often associated with avant-garde pursuits, joins a bit more traditional quartet consisting of Bostonian guitarist Garrison Fewell and Italians Tino Tracanna (saxophones), Paolino Dalla Porta (bass), and Massimo Manzi (drums). Fewell has longstanding associations with Tracanna and Manzi. Dalla Porta, a frequent colleague of Tracanna, is one of Italy's bass masters. Compositions from group members form the program, marking the first of what one hopes will be additional fruitful recordings.

From the outset, Fewell's unadorned traditional sound on electric guitar is conspicuous. Any other flavor would have changed the overall character of the date. This is not a negative outcome by any means, rather a refreshing change from the processed guitar sounds that are so prevalent today. It contrasts beautifully with the modern adventurous nature heard throughout this date.

"Simplicity exemplifies the attraction of a well-crafted jazz ballad, languidly unfolding as Tchicai and Tracanna alternate the melody on tenor. Each man's singular tone provides ample charm for the lucid phrase. Della Porta begins the solos, followed by Tracanna. Next, Manzi and Della Porta create an absolutely perfect swing feel for Fewell's equally impressive statements. This is the real deal, folks. "Grappa to Go is a wonderfully simple duet featuring Tracanna's soprano and Fewell's guitar. A catchy seven-note melodic motif provides the framework for a bluesy tune that sticks with you long after it is completed.

Tchicai's "Yogi in Disguise is a medium bop tune with a pleasant rolling melodic line, played in unison by the tenors. Fewell and Tchicai each solo as Manzi crashes and pops away, imparting the tune with a slight sense of urgency. Dalla Porta nails the groove, once again demonstrating the precise teamwork of this rhythm section. The title cut is a rather open trio exploration that's improvised on the spot by Manzi, Tchicai, and Fewell. It is adventuresome without becoming tedious, all three listening and responding to each other with restraint, not an easy task when playing freely.

Tracanna's "Basetto begins with three distinct ideas. Taken individually, the short phrases seem quite divergent. However, the harmonic base prevails and the fellows imbue the tune with inventive playfulness. Tchicai's tenor and Tracanna's soprano shoulder the solo tasks with ease. Fewell's "X-Ray Vision is another soothing ballad, again showcasing Tchicai on tenor and Tracanna on soprano. Manzi subtlety paints this one with mallets, sticks, toms, and cymbals, adding all the right hues. "Thrift Shopping + Extension might be the set's most interesting cut. It opens with the ensemble stating the melody, followed by an extended drum solo, a quiet interlude by Fewell and Tchicai on bass clarinet, a slow ensemble march section set against Tracanna's soprano lines, and a final relaxed statement of the theme by Tchicai and Tracanna.

Superbly recorded and engineered by Paolo Fillipi, the instruments are precisely delivered and well-balanced. Each tune is marked by freshness and outstanding musicianship, making this date is worthy of deliberate attention and extended listening.

Visit John Tchicai, Paolino Della Porta, Massimo Manzi, Garrison Fewell, and Tino Tracanna on the web.

Track Listing: Instant Intuition; Prayer For Right Guidance; Big Chief Dreaming ; Simplicity; The Queen Of Ra; Thrift Shopping + Extension ; Basetto; X- Ray Vision; Grappa To Go; Splinters No. 1; Haengende Skaerm; Yogi in Disguise.

Personnel: John Tchicai: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Garrison Fewell: guitar; Tino Tracanna: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Paolino Dalla Porta: bass; Massimo Manzi: drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Soul Note | Style: Latin/World


More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Cada Fuego Es El Primero" CD/LP/Track Review Cada Fuego Es El Primero
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Niechęć" CD/LP/Track Review Niechęć
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 16, 2016
Read "Ready Take One" CD/LP/Track Review Ready Take One
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Forgive and Forget" CD/LP/Track Review Forgive and Forget
by Edward Blanco
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Whisper" CD/LP/Track Review Whisper
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 22, 2016
Read "The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!

Buy it!