Italian saxophonist Gaetano Partipilo has been playing and studying music since he was eight. After conservatory studies, Partipilo was engaged to perform by the likes of Mark Murphy, Enrico Rava and Tony Scott. Having spent several months in New York City, Partipilo returned to Italy where he formed the Urban Society project, with whom he recorded two albums for Soul Note Records, and a 2011 live in-concert reprise, Upgrading, for Jazz Engine records.
In 2013, Partipilo released Besides: Songs from the Sixties (Schema Records), genuine and warm modern interpretations of classic '60s sounds stylishly produced by legendary European soul-jazz groovemeister Nicola Conte, which made annual Top Ten Album lists worldwide. Partipilo has also served as jazz saxophone instructor at the Conservatory of Music in Foggia since 2013, and one wonders if the natural and artistic beauty of Italy seep into the notes from his alto which dance in a such a lovely and lyrical style.
Gaetano's Boom Collective ensemble unleashes a decidedly modern electronic jazz sound on this live recording from their late 2019 tour of Italy. The opening "In tension" serves immediate notice, drifting in on an electronic soundcloud that the Collective roars through like an exploding army. Electric guitarist Fabrizio Savino rips into a solo that almost sounds like an electric violin scratching its way through a dense arrangement driven by bass and drums that pound the rhythm with primal force.
"Love Boom" ventures into more spacy stratospheres but maintains this aggressive rhythm and sound. Several instruments simultaneously enter (some shoving others aside to make room for themselves) then settle down into the groove behind Partipilo as his alto floats into the melody. Pianist Seby Burgio pounds out rhythms and cross-rhythms both visceral and abstract in gutbucket barrelhouse piano power. "Love Boom" sounds full of both love and boom.
Carolina Bubbico and Angela Esmeralda harmonize lead vocals on the up-tempo neo-soul ballad "Was it worth it," a style and sound nicely suited for Partipilo, who builds his solo upon the waves of the drummer's sweeping crescendos yet retains a soft beauty that suggests trumpet master Chet Baker.
After the leader's extended and exhilarating spotlight in "Close your eyes," Live Somewhere fades out with "Dark Matter," bouncy jazz-rock fusion first led through the melody by vocals that give way to the leader's alto. Partipilo steers the band into a funkier R&B rhythm and then keeps driving them with his most expressive and truly swinging solo of this set. Even his deliberately smeared and jagged notes sound so pretty.
In tension; Hotter than July; Protest; When it's so rainy; Was it worth it; Autumn in New York; Love Boom; Close your
eyes; Dark matter.
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