On “Musique Mecanique” luminaries of Italian’s vibrant jazz scene converge under the auspices of the “Brasserie Trio” which has performed as a unit on and off for 7 years. This recording was recorded live in Pisa Italy last year. As the liners suggest...this band does not rely on electronics or PA systems; therefore, the Trio is fairly self-contained; although, the live recording represented here may not tickle everyone’s fancy. The “live” sound on “Musique Mecanique” is okay; however, the sensation or feeling is akin to being at the very last row of a venue or perhaps in the nose bleed section of a concert hall. For the most part, the Trio sound as if they were off in the distance as opposed to being upfront. Personally, this writer feels that the impact of this music and performances suffer from the lack of audio engineering yet the overall listening experience proves to be engaging and positive.
Trumpeter Alberto Mandarini’s “1935” opens the proceedings with a playful series of choruses and charts that cross the boundaries of jazz from traditional New Orleans to the post modernist movement. Saxophonist Carlo Actis Dato’s “A Craxi in Tunisia” is a good vehicle for ideas that run rampant as the underlying melody rarely becomes convoluted or repressed while the improvisation and dialogue among Mandarini, Dato and trombonist Lauro Rossi is inviting. The Trio composition “Guarda Comes S’Offrono” is a perfect vehicle for Dato’s baritone sax expertise as he literally taps the rhythms on his saxophone keys while also performing the bouncy meter through lower register notes. Rossi and Mandarini take several choruses as the tune eventually veers off in many directions, which makes for unadulterated fun. The title track and group composition, “Musique Mecanique” is a blast as the lads stomp their feet and apparently knock around their instruments as either Mandarini or Dato mimic bird calls. The audience seemed very receptive as the Trio was having a little fun. Dato’s “Doussika” is an upbeat celebration of sorts featuring a nice melodic hook, which reminds this reviewer of classic World Saxophone Quartet motifs and harmonies. Here and throughout, the Trio convey a larger sound through coordinated charts, sharp phrasing and melodic choruses.
Despite this reviewer’s personal dissatisfaction with the recorded sound. “Musique Mechanique” offers plenty of joyous moments. As individuals, the Brasserie Trio have recorded with the much beloved Italian Instabile Orchestra and many others as they display class, expertise and a convincing knowledge of jazz lore. *** 1/2
Alberto Mandarini; Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Percussion, voice: Lauro Rossi; Trombone, Voice: Carlo Actis Dato; Bass Clarinet, Tenor & Baritone Saxes, Voice
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
Login to your All About Jazz member account to submit articles and press releases, upload images, edit musician profiles, add events and business listings, communicate with other members via personal messages, submit inqueries or contribute any content.