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Italian pianist/composer Claudio Angeleri opens Invensioni a Piu Voci with four minutes of solo piano, rolling with a free development of the gels into a lovely, light-stepping melody. The tune is "La Citta Sotile (The Thin City) Pt.1," an introduction to the second part featuring saxophonist Bob Mintzer, of Yellowjackets fame, blowing a dark-toned opening that builds to an ominous, searing blow fest for sax and rhythm section. A smattering of applause clues you in to the "live in concert" situation, before more voices join intrumpet, soprano and alto saxophones.
The two parts of "La Citta Sotile" set the tone for the set. The piano solo "Part 1 is a studio affair; "Part 2 is a studio quality live recording. The rest of the set swings back and forth between live and studio, with a variety of instrumental configurations, without a break in the atmosphere of first-rate musicianship and quality compositionsall by Angleri, with the exceptions of Thelonious Monk's "Ruby My Dear," Miles Davis/Bill Evans' "Blue in Green, and the closer, Luna and Ramirez's "Alfonsio y El Mar."
Listening to the piano solo pieces brings Angeleri's fellow countryman Enrico Pieranunzi to mindthe crisp articulation and deep intelligence; and the ability to take the sound off into unexpected angles while maintaining the melodic beauty.
"Free-bop" has a classical feeling, a very busy, pretty piece of music followed by the tight groove of "Prelude," a medium heat cooker that has a Yellowjackets vibe and features Gabriele Comeglio on a burning alto sax, with Angeleri delving into some electric keyboards. The groove-centric extroversion is followed by Angleri's searching solo piece, "Poema de Amor (intro piano)," opening the door to "Part 2, showcasing Paola Milzani's exuberant, no-holds-barred vocals and Michael Zisman's bandoneon. Angeleri puts some real zest into his solo take of "Blue in Green."
Claudio Angeli shuffles styles and instrumentation throughout the set, and still maintains a cohesive atmospherean excellent introduction to a musician not well-known on this side of the Atlantic.
Track Listing: La Citta Sottile (part 1 intro piano); La Citta Sottile (part 2); Freebop; Bud Not For Me; Prelude; Poemas de Amor (intro piano); Poemas de Amor (part 2); Blue in Green; lfonsina; Toko-San; Ruby My Dear; Affari in Grande; Alphonsina y el Mar.
Personnel: Claudio Angeleri: piano, keyboards; P. Milzani: vocals (7, 13); F. Ambrosetti: trumpet (2, 7); Bob Mintzer: tenor saxophone (1); G. Visibelli: soprano saxophone (1); G. Comelgio: alto saxophone (1, 4, 5); M. Esposito: bass(2, 7); T. Arco: drums (2, 10, 11); R. Suddeth: tenor saxophone (10, 11); M. Beggio: percussion (7)
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.