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Porta Palace Collective: Neuroplastic Groove

Eyal Hareuveni By

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The Italian Porta Palace Collective began its work as a Torino-based quintet led by trumpeter Johnny Lapio releasing its self-titled debut album last year (Rudi Records, 2015). This album offered European abstraction of modern jazz with with touches of free jazz and avant-garde, featuring the Collective augmented by veteran trombonist Giancarlo Schiaffini, known from the Italian Instabile Orchestra and many collaborations with European free-improvisers, as the main composer.

The follow-up album, Neuroplastic Groove, expands the already established aesthetics, continues the collaboration with Schiaffini and transforms the quintet into a strong, pan-European Collective. Now the Porta Palace Collective features two musical couples—Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, who are split their time between Tokyo and Berlin, and American drummer Jimmy Weinstein and vocalist Lilly Santon, who operate a music school in Pedova.

Lapio, Weinstein and Schiaffini wrote the six compositions, and each adopts a different strategy that emphasizes the Collective's diverse and versatile aesthetics in different manners. Lapio "Neuroplastic Groove" navigates between brief, searching sonic detours while building its tension patiently and flirting with light Latin pulse. The laughs of Santon and her wordless delivery set the playful-breezy atmosphere for "E Lei Non Disse Molto Altro." Weinstein "Fantasy" is the first piece that employ the Collective full force as a jazz ensemble. His "Micro Texture And Low Cluster" is structured from almost fleeting silent touches and breathes on keys, mouthpieces, strings, skins and cymbals. Slowly it accumulates into an intriguing, imaginatively nuanced texture.

Schiaffini's "Leaders" is a relaxed, fast-shifting free jazz piece that invites eccentric and inventive contributions from the nine musicians, still, channeling the chaotic and game-like interplay into a coherent course. His "Come Se Fosse Autunno" is the most impressive composition. It employs wisely the Collective musicians improvisational skills, rooted in European jazz legacy and swings beautifully, but flows with total, organic freedom that stresses the strong, resourceful voices of the nine musicians.

Track Listing: Neuroplastic Groove; E Lei Non Disse Molto Altro; Fantasy; Micro Texture And Low Cluster; Leaders; Come Se Fosse Autunno.

Personnel: Johnny Lapio: trumpet, bubble harmon; Natsuki Tamura: trumpet, harmon, toys; Giancarlo Schiaffini: trombone; Giuseppe Ricupero: tenor saxophone; Lilly Santon: voice; Satoko Fujii: piano; Lino Mei: Fender Rhodes; Gianmaria Ferrario: double bass; Jimmy Weinstein: drums.

Title: Neuroplastic Groove | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Rudi Records

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