Tenor saxophonist Carlo Actis Dato pokes a little good-natured fun at the father of Italy’s modern era, Guiseppe Garibaldi, via the cover art - featuring the band dressed in period garb marching to victory. On the flip side, the saxophonist steers this quintet through some of the hardest hitting modern jazz tinged rock you’ll likely hear. Perhaps Dato’s mindset was to emulate some of Italy’s fiercest military battles via music as they intertwine bubbly Mediterranean themes with wacko electric guitar lines and various, pulsating time signatures. They pronounce triumphant choruses on “Viva Zapata” amid progressive-rock musings and breezy soloing. They stomp and grind by way of pumping 4/4 beats on “Porci Padani coinciding with a few unexpected shifts in direction.
Dato and his counterpart, saxophonist Massimo Rossi, generally soar skyward throughout, and guitarist Antonio Fontana turns up the heat when the occasion arises. In addition, Fontana strums some pleasant surf guitar licks on “Dulcinea.” No doubt, this is hard hitting stuff from beginning to end. Another strong outing by one of Italy’s modern jazz visionaries who simply refuses to rest on his laurels. Recommended...
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