Lost Within You is a masterpiece of smoldering passion and beauty ignited by the exquisite trumpet and flugelhorn melodies of Franco Ambrosetti.
Ambrosetti assembled an enviable ensemble: bassist Scott Colley and drummer Jack DeJohnette in the rhythm section, plus guitarist John Scofield, and Renee Rosnes and Uri Caine switching turns as pianist. But the star of Lost Within You is Ambrosetti's haunting, delicate and graceful sound, revealed in one masterful ballad after another.
"Miles Davis was one of the great inspirations for that," Ambrosetti recalls. "From listening to Miles play ballads, I started to understand and I was able to go inside the ballad and play these long notes that he was playing. Miles showed me how you stretch the notes out like you're really singing or crying, and I think I can express my feelings better that way."
DeJohnette sketches an abstract introductory framework on piano to the opening "Peace," from which Ambrosetti's trumpet rises up like shimmering heat to meet and complete. When the rest of the ensemble settles in, the mood shifts from beautiful to transcendent jazz music.
Solo drums curiously open the classic "Body and Soul," but bass and piano quickly settle down into a slow-rolling tempo and a mood that's both ballad and blue although DeJohnette insists on busting up the middle section with harder and sharper beats. Caine builds up funky blue offbeats and phrases and then crosses them together to build more complex melodies and harmonies in his solo. But Caine is only the second-best soloist here. Ambrosetti's sound thoroughly ghosts Davis' moody brooding: part smoldering anger, part aching sadness, part bitter loneliness, and part peaceful resignation. That's a lot to pack into a sound, but Ambrosetti does it.
Rosnes jumps in on "Flamenco Sketches," a landmark of Davis' work with pianist Bill Evans, and her melancholic deep touch is perfect for this mood and for highlighting Scofield's guitar alongside the Spanish tinges of this tune. Rosnes' thoughtful fire also polishes the middle piano trio section into a warm glow.
McCoy Tyner's "You Taught My Heart to Sing" closes Lost Within You. A love song and the word "sing" are entirely appropriate to end a set of music like this. Rosnes, Scofield and Ambrosetti all stretch out in solos like housecats settling down for a nap, with Scofield's guitar drifting in and out of the blues and the leader's horn so softly but clearly articulating each note that it almost sounds like whispered speech.
Peace; I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Outta My Life; Silli In the Sky; Love Like Ours; Dreams Of A Butterfly; Body And Soul; People Time; Flamenco Sketches; You Taught My Heart To Sing.