Mauro Avanzini/Claudio Capurro/Claudio Lugo/Cristina Alioto: La Volta Del Suono


Sign in to view read count
This is a must-hear for anyone interested in otherworldly acoustic phenomena due to architecture. Three saxophonists and a female vocalist performed this continuous improvisation in a “famous historical palace” in Genoa, Italy. The 44 minutes fly right by with the range of surprising acoustic effects that pop out at every turn. Each time I listen to it I experience a new interpretation of foreground-background relationships between the instruments, especially during the first few minutes when there is a greater emphasis on long tones. When one of the saxophones becomes the focus of attention, the others seem to envelope it lovingly; the four performers blend their sounds magnificently, including the vocalist, Cristina Alioto, who exercises a great deal of restraint, yet occasionally comes to the foreground with rich motifs. Every note is transformed by the reverberations induced by the massive space (with a fairly low ceiling judging by the picture in the booklet) and its stony surfaces. There are times when you could swear there is a violin cutting lines through the air or that there are really 10 saxophones, such are these transformations. We hear glacial tonalities redolent of Ligeti or Penderecki, yet these are often produced by only one or two of the instruments; the others might be engaged in the linear development of a motif with clear and even rhythmic contours. The fact that electronic processing is evoked, though not present, underscores the significance of the instrumentation, as it is rare to hear saxophones with electronic effects. If it were a trio of electric guitarists instead, the otherworldly feeling would be greatly diminished, as our ears are so accustomed to hearing just about anything come from a guitar and a stack of blinking effects units that it would be difficult to isolate the architectural influence. The saxophones are so marvelously sonorous and expertly played that it would have been a missed opportunity had other instruments been chosen. None of the saxophonists are familiar to me, but I get the impression that they are all products of conservatories and primarily engage in the performance of classical works, because they all emphasize clarity of line and labored repetition; the jagged complexity of free-jazz is uniformly absent. In fact, the transparent attempts to coordinate phrases might owe more to Dixieland than any other jazz-related domain. I wonder how much control the performers felt over the acoustics of the space—after all, anything they played probably sounded different to them than to the other musicians, not to mention the microphones, and every change of angle or standing position must have had unpredictable consequences. In fact, there are times when a single instrumental voice seems to suddenly undergo a Jekyll-and-Hyde transformation, as when Alioto, the vocalist, seems to be wailing on a held tone a thousand feet away one moment, only to be singing an intimate lullaby right in front of the microphone a second later. Perhaps the emphasis on powerful and clear tones was an intuitive strategy to minimize the wild sonic variation that the musicians were confronted with. I don't say "powerful" lightly: well after the recording is over, I can still hear the music in my head, especially the slow and penetrating two-note melody one of the players repeats numerous times during the first few minutes of the piece, sometimes extending it with a few more notes. These are extraordinary musicians and this recording is virtually guaranteed to pique the interest of any saxophone lover.

This review is reprinted courtesy of All About Jazz Italia: www.allaboutjazz.com/italy

Track Listing: La Volta Del Suono

Personnel: Mauro Avanzini-saxophone; Claudio Capurro-saxophone; Claudio Lugo-saxophone; Cristina Alioto-voice

| Record Label: Felmay | Style: Modern Jazz


CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Illogical Harmonies with D’Incise" CD/LP/Track Review Illogical Harmonies with D’Incise
by John Eyles
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "Red Nation "1"" CD/LP/Track Review Red Nation "1"
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Intersection" CD/LP/Track Review Intersection
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 9, 2016
Read "Lea Áigi" CD/LP/Track Review Lea Áigi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "Collectables" CD/LP/Track Review Collectables
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "Up North" CD/LP/Track Review Up North
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 17, 2017

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!