The “Simone Guiducci Gramelot Ensemble” intermingle Italian folk-ish themes with generous doses of improvisation, modern jazz structures and well-orchestrated small group arrangements on this charming and thoroughly enjoyable effort titled, Cantador
Led by guitarist/composer Simone Guiducci, the musicians pursue catchy melodies and gleefully romantic Italian style themes to coincide with harmonious interplay and sharp soloing. Guiducci is an ex-student of the legendary Mick Goodrick, which must have paid huge dividends given his fleet-fingered, sonorous lines and extraordinary capabilities as an agile rhythm guitarist. Yet the musician’s camaraderie and sense of oneness shines as accordionist Fausto Beccalossi, clarinet/bass clarinetist Achille Succi, bassist/cellist Salvatore Majore and drummer/percussionist *Roberto Dani round out this unique and rather modish group sound. On compositions such as “Danza Mantovana” and “Al Saltafos” the musicians turn in memorably melodic passages, crisp soloing, jubilant motifs and vibrant dialogue atop the often complex, yet toe-tapping rhythms. Here and throughout, the band is tight yet often maintain a lose vibe, witnessed on sprightly pieces such as, “L’alba del bambino (a Giorgio)” and “Soeh (Suite in tre movimenti)” while exchanging lofty unison choruses, along with pensive interludes that generally segue into momentous and albeit, cheerful sequences.
Overall, the band skillfully injects cross-cultural statements and fresh concepts into traditional formats as the music and notions exhibited on Cantador expounds upon the ever resourceful, non-complacent and seemingly restless Italian music scene. Recommended! - * * * *
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* See review of Roberto Dani’s fine solo release titled, Images in this month’s edition of “All About Jazz.com