402

Luca Aquino: Lunaria

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
Luca Aquino: Lunaria Not very long ago, there was an interesting best-selling fiction book entitled Einstein's Dreams (Random House, 1992). In it, author Alan Lightman depicted what might have been the unusual dreams of a young Albert Einstein as he developed his Relativity Theories. Each short chapter covered time/relativity-related dreams of places where time went in reverse, stood still, or looped a la the 1993 film Groundhog Day. Lunaria seems to send up what might be the wildly vivid, musical dreams made real of outstanding Italian trumpeter and composer, Luca Acquino. This is an artistically fantastic CD—in the sense of fantasy and in the most musical, compositional and "constructed" senses.

Incorporating a very high degree of electronic and recording devices (and doing so with only minimal lapses of taste), Acquino and his partners demonstrate exceptional musical talent and a sense of the extreme and fantastic. This is almost a jazz Matrix (Warner Bros., 1999). As a matter of fact, several of the selections appear to almost be "theme-like" as if they were scores for films.

Acquino plays and composes with the heart of a romantic. Whether Harmon-muted or on open horn, his fluid approach, embracing sound, and tasteful articulation are superb. His intonation and incantation and expansion of improvised ideas are terrific. Like sunbursts exploding from a fiery surface, the trumpeter's runs and screams fly off, up and around. His warm, tender melodic playing and deft articulation certainly place him in trumpeter Chris Botti's Romantic league.

Beware, however, that while Lunaria is many things exciting, it is not for all tastes. It is not straight-ahead, swinging jazz. There are elements here purposely engineered to push all envelopes and buttons—and Acquino and friends do that with glee. There is a techno-intellectual element here that can occasionally be less than attractive. Overall, however, Lunaria displays an invite to explore.

Some selections and Acquino's melodic efforts are reminiscent of near-the-end Miles Davis. And, as if reaching back in time to pluck some great improvisational playing over electronic enhancements, Acquino fondly embraces the ghost of the late great trumpeter/experimenter, Don Ellis, he of the Electric Bath (Columbia, 1967). The spirit of the late Frank Zappa, another compositional genius and himself an admirer of Edgard Varese and other avant-gardists, might be seen to loom over this recording date—or he may, at least, be whispering into Acquino's very receptive ear.

Lunaria is a highly intriguing, complex, and exciting CD with flashes of compositional and performance brilliance. Acquino deserves significant merit for being explorer-adventurous. Whether under the moon's influence or not, Luca Acquino and Lunaria are Nova-like, bursting with energy, color and fire.


Track Listing: Jumpiering; Ninna nonna per la piccola Sara; No Surprises; La volata; Nadir, lo sposo e la fata Malika; Nuvola grigia; Mi sei scoppiata dentro il cuore; Amore che vieni, amore che vai; No Casulaties; A piccoli passi; Casablanca; Overlook; All Blues; Delirio berkiddese; Lunaria.

Personnel: Luca Aquino: trumpet, pocket trumpet, flugelhorn, electronics; Roy Hargrove: trumpet (6); Giovanni Francesca: guitars, electronics; Marco Bardoscia: bass electronics; Gianluca Brugnano: drums; Maria Pia De Vto: vocals (3, 9); Carla Casarano: vocals (12); G. Grasso: unlisted instruments; R. Casarano: unlisted instruments; Puppiddhru aka Attila: unlisted instruments; Pizio: unlisted instruments.

Title: Lunaria | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: EmArcy


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "The Dreamer Is the Dream" CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Tales & Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Tales & Tones
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "The Danish Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review The Danish Sessions
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "Another Place, Another Time" CD/LP/Track Review Another Place, Another Time
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 18, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 1, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.