6

Monome: Monome

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Monome: Monome The Italian innovative jazz group Monome (not the be confused with Spanish rock band The Monomes) makes a reserved yet vigorous statement with its eponymous debut. The session comprises of seven, modal and atmospheric tracks that have strong, western classical influences.

The collaborative trio opens the disc with "Scales"; an almost theatrical piece that sets the theme for the rest of the disc. After Piergiorgio Pirro's brief sonata fragment, Gianpaolo Camplese's fervent drums and Matteo Anelli's angular bass join his delightfully atonal piano. The music transforms into a spirited, free-flowing three- way conversation that borrows equally from free jazz and classical heritages. The "second act" is equally stimulating and also replete with muted tonal colors. Tempo, however, becomes contemplative and the mood expectant, as Pirro's melancholic lines shimmer in silence, punctuated by pizzicato bass and brushed cymbals.

The closing "Inverno" continues the pensive mien expressed in "Scales," but is cooler and more relaxed. Lilting piano, lyrical bass and melodic percussion infuse the air with a palpable nostalgia.

The remainder of the tracks, sandwiched, between the above, include Berlin native Peter Ehwald's smoky tenor saxophone that transforms the ensemble into a quartet. The tight thematic unity, however, is not affected.

"Organ" is reminiscent of art house film soundtracks. Ehwald goes from fast, furious staccato improvisations, urged on by Camplese's polyphony, to longing and meandering notes that flow over Pirro's mellifluous keys.

On the somber "Catville," Anelli's thrums and Camplese's thuds create the feel of empty city streets sprinkled with the rain from Pirro's edgy piano, while Ehwald's breathy tenor blows like a gentle wind. Pirro's intricate solo progresses from modernistic variations to a jazzier, intimate late night musings.

This close sympathy among the musicians is a defining trait of the recording. On the wistful "Southbound," Pirro's ebbing explorations lead to Anelli's heady and sweet bass strings, thick with expression and emotion, while Camplese's enigmatic, rolling drums underscore Ehwald's eloquent embellishments of the melody.

This Pisa/Berlin based outfit has produced a unique work with Monome, an ambient disc, to be sure, but one that does not lack substance. Its intriguing compositions, the high caliber musicianship of the instrumentalists, and their exemplary camaraderie, make the record simultaneously accessible and thought-provoking.

Track Listing: Scales; Organ; Southbound; Anthem; Koshigaya; Catville; Inverno.

Personnel: Piergiorgio Pirro: piano; Matteo Anelli: double bass; Gianpaolo Camplese: drums; Peter Ehwald: tenor saxophone (2-6).

Title: Monome | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Konnex Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Calvins Toboggan" CD/LP/Track Review Calvins Toboggan
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 16, 2017
Read "Avenida Graham" CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Bring Joy" CD/LP/Track Review Bring Joy
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Lost Signals" CD/LP/Track Review Lost Signals
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "The Hive" CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Overseas V" CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Troy Collins
Published: March 30, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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