183

The Siena Jazz Band: GOP

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Klaus Lessmann, conductor of Italy’s Siena Jazz Band, leaves no doubt as to where his musical sentiments lie, as seven of the first ten selections on the band’s debut album, GOP, are associated with the peerless Duke Ellington, the last seven with the great alto saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. Completing the program are Count Basie’s “Swingin’ the Blues,” Lester Young’s “Tickle Toe” and Ella Fitzgerald’s breakthrough hit, “A Tisket, a Tasket,” the last a curious choice for vocalist Laura Bigliazzi whose pleasing voice is neutralized by a lisp that is most prominent when she has to pronounce the letter “s.” Bigliazzi is also heard on Ellington’s “Big City Blues” and “All Too Soon” (on which the lisp is thankfully less noticeable). The first part of the program glides smoothly albeit rather uneventfully along, but the second is more problematic, as Adderley’s bop / funk essays (and those of brother Nat) don’t lend themselves as readily to big–band adaptations (at least, not to this one). The ensemble does the best it can with Lessmann’s charts, but they are more cumbersome than audacious, and don’t swing nearly as hard or as often as Cannonball’s pared–down originals. Of course, some of that may have to do with the fact that neither Julian nor Nat is anywhere to be seen or heard. Nat’s “Work Song” works best, thanks in part to a bright arrangement by Lessmann, his luminous soprano solo and productive choruses by trumpeter Maurizio Pasqui and guitarist Diego Perugini. As a rule, however, the ensemble seems more comfortable with Ellington / Basie, even though there’s nothing in its arsenal — nor should there be — that is in any way comparable to either of those masters. But for a band that was pieced together about seven years ago by a handful of musicians (only one trombone; tenor saxophones had to double the parts), Lessman’s ensemble — a part of the twenty–five–year–old Associazone Siena Jazz — isn’t bad at all. To his credit, Lessmann keeps the focus where it should be, on the ensemble, as there aren’t — yet — any breathtaking solo voices in the band (Lessman is one of the ablest, on saxophone or clarinet). Tempos are generally a tad more sluggish than need be (“Perdido” and “Jive Samba” are prominent examples) but time should remedy that shortcoming. The Siena band has made great progress in a relatively short time, and charting its progress from here on should be a most fascinating endeavor. Meanwhile, one can relish on this album the first fruits of its alliance.

Contact:www.carrozze.it


Track Listing: The Mooche; Stompy Jones; Big City Blues; Swingin

Personnel: Klaus Lessmann, conductor, arranger, alto, tenor, soprano sax, clarinet; Mauricio Pasqui, Bruno Bocci, Massimo Muratori, Fabricio Cappelli, Pierangelo Nesci, trumpet; Massimiliano Santella, Gabriele Salvatore, Cristian Tognalini, Daniele Fusi, trombone; Gianluca Perugini, alto sax, clarinet; Patricia Cresti, Andrea Belleschi, alto sax; Massimi Guerri, tenor, soprano sax, clarinet; Fabio Carboncini, Paolo Galluzzi, tenor sax; Stefano Fabbri, baritone sax; Francesco Giannini, guitar; Daniele Parri, piano; Stefano Taddeo, acoustic, electric bass; Duccio Venturini (1

Title: GOP | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Le Carrozze Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Door Girl CD/LP/Track Review Door Girl
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Incidentals CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "Subtle Energy" CD/LP/Track Review Subtle Energy
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "Mata Hati" CD/LP/Track Review Mata Hati
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Living In Twilight" CD/LP/Track Review Living In Twilight
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke" CD/LP/Track Review The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "Home Counties" CD/LP/Track Review Home Counties
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Change Of Address" CD/LP/Track Review Change Of Address
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 6, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.