This Italian trio aims on imparting a new paradigm, concerning the somewhat populist integrations of jazz, progressive-rock, fusion and world music. With electric guitarist Osvaldo Di Dio's big sound, aligned with an acoustic rhythm section, the program is underscored by absorbing contrasts and tonalities.
Largely consisting of slow to medium-tempo works, the sonorous soundscapes are partly attributed to the profoundly mic'd rhythm section, resulting in a forceful and impacting framework. Otherwise, several pieces contain endearing hooks and melodies. Di Dio is a masterful sculptor who uses textural components via a myriad of subtle distortion techniques, twangy voicings, accenting trills and expansive chord treatments, making every note count via an animated attack that projects a solid forum for the variable sub-plots and storylines.
"Greetings from Fairbanks" is designed with a Pat Metheny-ish vibe, as Di Dio overlays a rapidly strumming acoustic guitar part into the mix. In other areas, the trio renders gradually climactic movements amid bluesy inflections and soft balladry. The guitarist's polytonal phrasings provide, at times, the semblance of a power trio setting, sans the all-electric and high-volume hoopla. However, the band diversifies its approach on "Molokai," which commences with a Caribbean groove, leading to a breezy guitar vamp during the bridge.
From a live performance stance, it would be curious to know whether the band would intersperse a few up-tempo comps into its repertoire, even though this album offers a persuasive slant on the tried and true. Indeed, a highly listenable engagement that offers some respite from repeatable processes, often witnessed during similar enterprises taken on by others.
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