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

| Record Label: Le Carrozze Records | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Spark" CD/LP/Track Review Spark
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 1, 2016
Read "Onwards To Mars!" CD/LP/Track Review Onwards To Mars!
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 18, 2016
Read "The Brothers Brown:  Dusty Road" CD/LP/Track Review The Brothers Brown: Dusty Road
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "A Matter Of Instinct" CD/LP/Track Review A Matter Of Instinct
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 20, 2016
Read "Timeless Again" CD/LP/Track Review Timeless Again
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 11, 2016
Read "Deep Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Deep Memory
by John Sharpe
Published: December 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!