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Amir ElSaffar Rivers of Sound: Rivers of Sound

Angelo Leonardi By

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Questa monumentale opera del compositore e trombettista iracheno-americano sviluppa una sintesi musicale iniziata nel 2006 col sestetto Two Rivers di cui facevano parte anche il sassofonista Rudresh Mahanthappa e il batterista Nasheet Waits. Amir ElSaffar fonde il jazz d'avanguardia con alcune forme tradizionali orientali: la dimensione melodica microtonale del maqam convive con un cangiante tappeto ritmico e timbrico che si dipana da atmosfere statiche, atemporali, ad altre sinuose o concitate. Strumenti a corda come oud, buzuq e santur oppure percussivi come l'indiano mridangam si relazionano a tromba, oboe, pianoforte, chitarra, violoncello, contrabbasso, sassofoni, batteria in un caleidoscopio che lascia spesso stupiti per la ricchezza delle voci e la fantasia dei percorsi.

Sono passati più di sessant'anni da quando il jazz ha iniziato a relazionarsi con le musiche folkloriche orientali ma pochi sono andati oltre le ricerche di Yusef Lateef e John Coltrane. Come già Mahanthappa per le connessioni con la musica carnatica, il lavoro di ElSaffar è un significativo passo avanti per la ricercatezza della sua scrittura in magistrale equilibrio tra Oriente e Occidente: integra modalità, microtonalità, strutture poliritmiche, polifonia, improvvisazioni e dinamiche orchestrali jazz. Un tutto unico che fluisce naturalmente, un quadro musicale dopo l'altro, avvolgendoti come un caldo vento del sud.

Con un curriculum di tutto rispetto (studi di musica classica, adolescenza immersa nel rock e nel jazz, esperienze con Cecil Taylor, Mahanthappa, Vijay Iyer più un lungo apprendistato con musicisti folk iracheni), ElSaffar guida il suo ampio ensemble evidenziando una scrittura complessa ma avvincente e per niente artificiosa.

CD della settimana

Track Listing:
Disc 1: Iftitah; Jourjina Over Three; Penny Explosion; Ya Ibni, Ya Ibni (My son, my son).
Disc 2: Layl (Night); Hijaz; Shards of Memory/B Half Flat Fantasy; Bayat Declamation.

Personnel: Amir ElSaffar: trumpet, santur; Carlo DeRosa: acoustic bass; Craig Taborn: piano; Dena ElSaffar: violin, jowza; Fabrizio Cassol: alto saxophone; George Ziadeh: oud, vocals; Jason Adasiewicz: vibraphone; JD Parran: bass saxophone, clarinet; Miles Okazaki: guitar; Mohammed Saleh: oboe, english horn; Naseem AlAtrash: cello; Nasheet Waits: drums; Ole Mathisen: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Rajna Swaminathan: mridangam; Tareq Abboushi: buzuq; Tim Moore: percussion, dumbek, frame drum; Zafer Tawil: percussion, oud.

Title: Rivers of Sound | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: New Amsterdam Records

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