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Italian Bassist/composer and conductor Roberto Bonati has performed with some of Europe’s finest modern jazz musicians along with Americans; saxophonist Dave Liebman, pianist Ritchie Bierach and many others. With his latest release, Le Reve Du Jongleur the artist conducts the “Parma Jazz Frontiere Festival Orchestra through a series of originals, and pieces composed during the Middle Ages. Bonati iterates his intentions in the liners: “The work, representing the Orchestra’s interpretation of the origins of Western music, was written with the intentions of tracing a path that could ideally connect the beginning and end of the Millennium.” With this production recorded live at the “ParmaJazz Frontiere festival”, the maestro steers the band through a series of richly thematic textures and grand opuses also featuring the sacred hymn-like chants of, “Schola Gregoriana F: Paer Choir”.
Essentially, Bonati aims to bridge the gap or perhaps elucidate sacred songs in conjunction with jubilant opuses, Euro-classical arrangements and modern jazz-based soloing. This synergistic exhibition also contains changeable patterns and melodious themes along with crisply executed horn charts, as the vocalists often harmonize and accentuate the musicians’ multifarious pronouncements and fervent soloing. Yet on Bonati’s composition titled “Suk”, the orchestra pursues climactic overtures atop Afro-Cuban rhythms and electric guitarist Vincenzo Mingiardi’s combustible lines, whereas the ephemeral mini-suite titled “Aviary”, features airy vocals and the musicians’ fragile interplay intermingled with the 12th century piece titled, “Byrds one Brere”. Otherwise, there’s quite a bit to digest throughout these fourteen works, as Roberto Bonati’s curiously interesting game-plan also initiates some thought provoking propositions. Recommended.
Track Listing: Veni Sancte Spiritus, Spiritus in terra, Pour Guillaume, Suk, Corale Estatico, Veni Creator Spiritus, Aviary, Alle Psallite cum Luya, Alleluja, Due Angeli, Danse Macabre, Aurore, O Lylium Convallium, Gli Angeli di Ildegarda
Jazz is a creative explosion of individual freedom and communication.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was a kid. My father had a music store.
The best live performance I ever attended was Kenny Garrett in Harlem, New York.
The first jazz record I bought was Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins.
My advice to new listeners is keep listening!