5

Davide Mantovani: Choices

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Davide Mantovani: Choices Strip out every other musician from the tunes on Choices and Davide Mantovani's bass lines are impressively attention-grabbing on their own. Put the other musicians back in and Choices becomes a richly-hued collection that takes inspiration from almost every corner of the globe.

Mantovani moved to London from his native Italy in 1991 and has an impressive resumé including work with saxophonist Andy Sheppard, Natacha Atlas and guitarist Antonio Forcione. He's also a talented composer, writing or co-writing all but one of the tunes on this album. But his discography as a leader is sparse, with only two albums prior to this one.

To which choices does his album refer? There are many possibilities: his country of residence, collaborators, selection of instruments, musical styles, or tunes. One, or all of these choices, may be the inspiration for the album's title. Mantovani's musical inspirations include European classical music, Senegalese rhythms, Brazilian dance and closer to home, the imminent arrival of guitarist Guillermo Hill's new daughter: Hill and Mantovani recorded "Esperando Olivia" in the last days of Hill's wife's pregnancy.

Mantovani's bass, electric or acoustic, is at the heart of these tunes. "Heart" is a particularly appropriate term to use, for his playing is at the music's emotional center as well as its rhythmical one. Mantovani's fluid, lyrical playing is to the fore on the lovely "Rio Déjà Vu," which also features Gustavo Marques' silky vocals, but for much of the time his instrument is deeper in the mix and he gives the spotlight to his collaborators.

The excellent core group of pianist Zoe Rahman, guitarist Guillermo Hill, cellist Ivan Hussey, percussionist Adriano Adewale and saxophonist Paul Booth is augmented by some top-flight guest players and vocalists. Among the highlights are Roger Beaujolais' mellow vibes and Booth's soprano sax that meld together perfectly on the gently swinging "Plejades." Alice Bellasich's plaintive vocals to the valedictory "Goodbye Albatross" with lyrics by Bellasich and Allegra Bellasich, Al-Maranca's keen voice enriches the melancholy "A Cajola D'Oro," and Josue Ferreira's passionate interpretation of Marques' lyrics on "Atlantico Temporal." Rahman's piano and Booth's alto sax fight for supremacy on "Restless Wrestlers"—it's an honorable and groovy draw—while Madou Sidiki Diabate's kora playing gives "Choice Is Yours" an added spark.

Choices is an emphatic demonstration of Mantovani's talents as a player and composer. Its combination of rhythms and styles is impressive without being pretentious. Above all, the music has charm by the bucket load.


Track Listing: Atlantico Temporal; Human...Kind?; Choice Is Yours; Bachorinho; Goodbye Albatross; Plejades; Rio Déjà Vu ; Restless Wrestlers; A Cajola D'Oro; Memory Box; The Blue Rider; Esperando Olivia.

Personnel: Davide Mantovani: double bass, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, effects, backing vocals; Paul Booth: alto flute, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone; Guillermo Hill: guitar; Ivan Hussey: cello; Zoe Rahman: piano, Fender Rhodes; Adriano Adewale: percussion; Josue Ferreira: vocals (1); Kashillaka: vocals (2); Alice Bellasich: vocals (5), backing vocals (2); Gustavo Marques: vocals (7); Al-Maranca: vocals (9); David Liddell: trombone (5); Claudio Passavanti: Hammond organ (7); Samy Bishai: strings (10); Madou Sidiki Diabate: kora (3, 5); Ahmed Mamadou Fofana: djembe, dundun, kenkene (2, 3, 11); Kuljit Bhamra: tabla, dhad (2); Roger Beaujolais: vibes (6); Davide Giovannini: drums (8, 9) calabash (11).

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Equilateral Records


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Deeper Journey" CD/LP/Track Review Deeper Journey
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Slight Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Slight Freedom
by Dave Wayne
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Potsdamer Platz" CD/LP/Track Review Potsdamer Platz
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Scott Hamilton / Harry Allen: live!" CD/LP/Track Review Scott Hamilton / Harry Allen: live!
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "As If By Magic" CD/LP/Track Review As If By Magic
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!