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