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The word "eclectic" gets batted around quite a bit to describe things that are, according to the New Mirriam-Webster Dictionary: "...made up of what seems best of varied sources."
The word fits well with the music of the Gianluigi Trovesi Octet on Fugace. The Italian reedman/bandleader is possessed of a broad array of influences: New Orleans, European classical forms, Duke Ellington (on "African Trptych"), W.C. Handy, and new millennium electronics.
The octet is an unusual formation of sounds, with a front line of trombone, trumpet, and Trovesi's reeds, with cello, two basses, and drums and percussion, bringing Ornette Colman's Free Jazz configuration to mind. It's a line-up that can weave substantial textures, aided by the occasional electronics – harpsichord and guitar sounds – that ramble from free jazz atmospheres to very tight, contemporary grooves.
The octet is very good at what it does, but this effort feels a little unfocused for this listener. They are perhaps too good at too much for one CD. A stronger outing – reviewer's bias here – might have concentrated on one aspect of their sound or another. The disparity in styles can be, for some, a bit distracting, no matter how well rendered each style.
Track Listing: As Strange as a Ballad, Sogno d'Orfeo, Wide Lake, Scarlet Dunes, Western Dream, Canto di
Lavoro, Clumsy Dancing Fat Bird, Siparieto I, Blues and West, Siparieto II, Il Domatore, Ramble,
Siparieto III, Fugace, Siparieto IV, Tot nei Caraibi
Personnel: Gianluigi Trovesi, alto sax, piccolo, alto clarinet; Beppe Caruso, trombone; Massimo Greco, trumpet,
electronics; Marco Remondini, violincello, electronics; Roberto Bonati, bass; Marco Micheli, bass
and electric bass; Fulvio Maras, percussion, electronics; Vittorio Marinoni, drums
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.