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Atipico Trio: Eqqueqqua' !!!

Jerry D'Souza By

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Imagination is the key to the door of communication for baritone saxophonist Carlo Actis Dato. He opens it to reveal a wide panorama of music, that he shapes through several groups. Over the years, he has had a nonet with Actis Furioso, a quintet with Actis Band, the Brasserie Trio and duets with Baldo Martinez. No matter what the size, Actis Dato makes sure that there are some common elements. Folk music and world rhythms are inherent and, when it comes to live shows, an invitation to the audience to participate through song and dance, even as his band adds its own theatrical impulses.

Atipico Trio has three saxophonists, all of whom find ways to turn their instruments into articulate messengers. Compulsive in their ability, they wrap creativity around elegance, style and a hint of mischief.

Actis Dato, one of the finest exponents of the baritone saxophone, makes expressive use of its tonality, using it not only as a leading voice but also to add counterpoint and a strong bottom layer to the rhythm. Alto saxophonist Beppe De Filippo, who was in the first incarnation of the Atipico Trio, and clarinetist Davide Tillota help extend the range and expression of the compositions.

A yell from Actis Dato sets "Xhoso," a swinging honeycomb of melody, in motion. The clarinet and soprano sax carry the melody with punctuations from the baritone saxophone. The music jumps and undulates turning this into a delirious joy ride.

Melody also drenches the folk sensibility of "No Me Molestes Mas" but the approach here is a bit looser, with Tilotta going off on a tangent during his solo and Actis Dato riding the register of the baritone sax with some tongue-slapping added for good measure. They raise their voices in hymnal chorus and then, with a neat twist, shake the fetters and drive on to freer expression as they converse, interject, thrust, parry and stimulate.

Freedom and the written note make comfortable bedfellows on "Atropico," as they intertwine and then draw back shaping eloquence with emotional sweetness and intensity. The texture is seamless and the mood irresistibly alluring.

"Sanchi" is a beautiful ballad with a beckoning melody. The trio essays the tune with warmth letting it ooze into the senses. De Filippo forsakes the frame and careens into the open vista of freedom leading the other two into an animated verbal outpouring, which being in Italian, may not be understood by all. But the picture they draw is clear; it's a shot of musical theatrical adrenalin.

The title of the CD sums it all succinctly. Eqqueqqua'!!! Is an unabashed shout of joy.

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