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Alberto Pinton Quartet: Live in Japan

Mark Corroto By

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You never really recognize a musician or ensemble until you hear them live. In the studio, artists have the luxury of multiple takes and edits to fine-tune their sound. Live in concert, the trade-off for the lack of second takes, is the musicians' ability to feed off of the energies of the audience. Their true identities are revealed. Here, the lack of pristine sonics are swapped for an authentic product. A prime example is the scratchy and noisy Live At The Five Spot Discovery! (Blue Note, 1983) disc by Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane, the only document to capture the two giants from their infamous 6 months residency.

Fast-forward to 2017, and the technology for recording live shows is much improved. This is evidenced here by the Italian-born resident of Stockholm, Sweden Alberto Pinton's November date at Café Yamaneko-ken in Japan. As on the previous Resiliency (Moserobie music, 2016), the saxophonist/clarinetist is working in a quartet setting with trumpeter Niklas Barno (Fire! Orchestra) and drummer Konrad Agnas (Jonas Kullhammar), and here, also with guest bassist Yasuhito Mori.

The music is live, or better stated, alive. "Lacy," dedicated to the soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, opens the set. A subtitle here might be "Steve Lacy Listening to Old And New Dreams," as the sound conjures the Ornette Coleman Quartet tribute band of Dewey Redman, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, and Ed Blackwell. The energy of the quartet is almost palpable. The composition is driven here, and on "Kapten K," by Agnas' assertive propulsion, which ignites the frontline team of Pinton and Barnö. The intensity of these two pieces is paired with the grace and refinement of "Terra," a brief duo between trumpet and baritone. The meat of this recording can be heard on "Krigartens Väg"and "Magnetism," two complex pieces that showcase mature compositions with ample space for improvisation. Pinton's strength is not just in his multi-instrumentalism, but in composing and, maybe more importantly, in his choice of bandmates.

Track Listing: Lacy; Krigartens Väg; Magnetism; Terra; Kapten K.

Personnel: Alberto Pinton: sax baritono, clarinetto, clarinetto basso; Niklas Barnö: tromba; Yasuhito Mori: contrabbasso; Konrad Agnas: batteria.

Title: Live in Japan | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Wildcat House

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