Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved reader experience across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

186

Luca Aquino: Chiaro

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
With Chiaro trumpeter/composer Luca Aquino distinguishes himself as a creator/sound engineer extraordinaire. Following up on his Lunaria (EmArcy, 2009) and Icaro (EmArcy, 2010), Aquino again takes instruments in hand and integrates a beautifully lyrical, sensitive human musical approach within a dazzling and dizzying panoply of electronically generated textures and rhythms.

Chiaro is an Italian word which can be translated as "clear." While the musical representations here are, at times, anything but, what is apparent is that Aquino is masterful at melding his melodic acoustic creations with the doors of programmed sound that are opening and closing around him. And, he's the one engineering those sounds, as well. This is a plugged-in funhouse of human- and machine-generated soundscapes, where interplay between the two entities—tones with drones and poundings—is what marvels. It's a highly complementary interaction.

Aquino's tasteful trumpet and flugelhorn playing is melodic and mellow throughout. Longer, drawn-out lines spin about and are congruent with what lies around him. His playing and approach to nuance is more Chet Baker sensitive than Freddie Hubbard fire. A delicious thought—what might Baker do here?—pops out and percolates throughout Aquino's playing.

There's no madness in Chiaro; rather, it's a Rubik's Cube of sound-color permutations ("John Bonham Strike"), where yearning mixes with the fire underneath ("Melodia"). Also, rather surprisingly presented are two popular commercial hits—the movie theme "La Strada" and "La Mer," recorded by Bobby Darin as "Beyond the Sea." The incorporation of these selections and the manner in which Aquino delivers them thrashes the conception that a melody can only be presented in one characterization. Perhaps Aquino is attempting to shatter ingrained prejudices while simultaneously illuminating and expanding their inherent beauty.

As with Aquino's prior efforts, Chiaro is an acquired taste. And, the world of sound textures—musique concrete—certainly has its geniuses and its charlatans. However, with his developing track record and this effort, Aquino seems closer to the former than a fakir. There is enough in this intriguing, inviting album to validate that. That much is very chiaro.

Track Listing: John Bonham Strike; La scatola nera degli applausi indotti; Melodia; Oslo; La Mer; Sopra le nuvole; Medley: a) Angolo suite cerca dispertamente salotto legno massello b) La Strada c) Vinzela quanto parli; Ninna nanna per E.T.

Personnel: Luca Aquino: trumpet, flugelhorn, loop station, electronics; Audun Erlien: electric bass, prepared bass, effects, Casio synthesizer; Wetle Holte: drums, percussion, glockenspiel, electronics; Lucio Dalla: vocal, clarinet (5); Pasquale Pedicini: keyboard (6); Sergio Fanelli, Alba Paradiso, Raffaele Matta: archi (7).

Title: Chiaro | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: My Favorite Records/Tuk Music (EMI)

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Contra la indecision CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Vessel in Orbit CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Pulse/Quartet CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Nighthawks" CD/LP/Track Review Nighthawks
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 2, 2017
Read "Planetary Prince" CD/LP/Track Review Planetary Prince
by Christopher Hoard
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Aerial" CD/LP/Track Review Aerial
by Pascal-Denis Lussier
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Solid Gold" CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "What Brought You Here?" CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017