The quality of jazz from Italy is not strained. The land of the Italian Instabile Orchestra, as well as Pino Minafra, Carlos Actis Dato, Gianluigi Trovesi, Giancarlo Schiaffini and Enrico Ravato name the few and the obviousis home to a range of music that is irreverent, joyous, free, folky and several other posits that reward careful listening. Andrea Pellegrini fits right in.
Pellegrini conducts a 20-piece band and is responsible for the arrangements on this album. The selections include some worthy standards as well as originals that eclipse the ordinary, shining as much for the composition as they do for the arrangement. Pellegrini takes movement across a wide swath, adorns it with solos that lock in with the concept, and then opens an avenue for the ensemble.
“Agorà” leaps in with the orchestra arcing a woozy path, the pulse enlivened by the horns particularly Innocenti on his sopranobefore Dente takes over and calms the waters. The quietude is short-lived as Arnone stirs a quicker tempo on the drums and the orchestra clasps the churn. The folk music that seeps into “Tarantela Esagonale” is delightful, evoking swirling images of dancing in the sun. When the soprano sax cuts through the melody, dissonance rears its head aided by the clang and clatter of the drums and hardware.
The Mingus tunes hold true to the composer's spirit; “Boogie Stop Shuffle” explodes through the volatile eruptions of the horns. Innocenti extends “Self Portrait In Three Colors” with a “fourth color” that flows in tranquil ease from his clarinet. Under Pellegrini, “A Night In Tunisia” is a night filled with stars and a balmy breeze. The heat of bop has been tempered, and while the Rhodes does not have the depth of a piano, it gives imagination another play.
From the confines of disorder comes captivating music.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.