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Enrico Rava: Edizione Speciale

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Enrico Rava: Edizione Speciale
At the time of this fascinating live gig from 2019, trumpeter/flugelhornist/composer/mentor Enrico Rava, at 80 years of age, hadn't lost his knack for catching you off guard. Take "Infant" from Edizione Speciale as a prime example and let the rest of the disc sweep you off your perceptions.

"Infant" emerges from a lone Rava fanfare and erupts into all out crash course on free jazz that harkens not only to the audible mind games of early 70's Miles Davis but also to the quixotic nature of sound and ambience so captivating to today's generation of players. And why shouldn't it? For Rava has surrounded himself here, at the Middelheim Festival in Antwerp, with a younger ensemble of students who have taken their lessons well and whose familiarity with rock n roll metrics takes the teacher for a ride.

If Edizione Speciale were a swollen river, nothing within a five mile swath would inhabit where it did an hour before you hit play. Guitarist Francesco Diodati (39) makes damn sure of that as he introduces himself to his audience with a scraping grunge crunch that introduces his entrance to "Infant." Pianist Giovanni Guidi (36) takes sheer delight in dueling Diodati one-on-one. The hyperactive rhythm section of bassist Gabriele Evangelista and drummer Enrico Morello (both 34) pulls the rug from under them both and tenor saxophonist Francesco Bearzatti (Rava's nearest elder at 55) runs off with it. "Infant" is just one of those opening tracks you're going to play repeatedly before moving on to the rest of the disc.

Gleefully, it's like that throughout Edizione Speciale, as a startling medley of Michel Legrand's "Once Upon A Summertime" clamors madly into Rava's own oblique "Theme for Jessica Tatum" from his tantalizingly dark and comic Noir (ECM, 1978). With "Wild Dance" Rava offers up the past for serious reinvention and the electro noise wildfire that ensues keeps you riveted to the speakers. Same can be said for "The Fearless Five" from 1994's Electric Five (ECM) that reprises while it reinterprets the surrealistic sonics Rava served up while accompanied by late trombonist Roswell Rudd, giving itself over to this group's very active fiery imaginings of trad jazz.

During the time of this recording, Rava was celebrating his 80th year as well as ECM's 50th, and if you need more proof, the inspired hijinks of the closing fiesta "Quizás, Quizás, Quizás" proves he was having one hell of a time. So join the party.

Track Listing

Infant; Once Upon a Summertime / Theme for Jessica Tatum; Wild Dance; The Fearless Five; Le Solite Cose / Diva; Quizás, Quizás, Quizás.

Personnel

Enrico Rava: trumpet; Francesco Bearzatti: saxophone, tenor; Francesco Diodati: guitar; Giovanni Guidi: piano; Gabriele Evangelista: bass; Enrico Morello: drums.

Additional Instrumentation

Enrico Rava: flugelhorn.

Album information

Title: Edizione Speciale | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: ECM Records

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