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Francesco Maccianti’s new solo effort is an intelligent and uplifting album, rooted in the best of the classic post-bop tradition. Occasionally, the pianist pays his dues to Keith Jarrett’s Atlantic years and, often, to McCoy Tyner’s mid-1960 s dates. But Oasi bears all the classy signs of a hard-working quartet exploring the moody grooves and swing that Maccianti’s forthright piano style affords.
Maccianti ( b. 1956) surrounds himself with the world-class support of Lello Pareti on bass and Walter Paoli on drums and tops it off with Pietro Tonolo’s perfectly-focused sax playing. The four explore a great melodic sensibility and invest in strong interplay here, particularly during "Love For Sale." But Oasi ’s best moments are Maccianti’s originals: "Piramidi," a geometric mix of theme and feeling that’s never wronged by its bittersweetness and "Cristalli Mulatti," an intriguing study of crisis, built simply from a solo piano, then resolved among the group’s melodic sensitivity.
Like a storyteller, Maccianti informs as he instructs, and entertains as he educates. Indeed, Maccianti was my own piano teacher twenty-some years ago and the one, I’m grateful to say, who introduced me to jazz. Today, he is considered a leading figure in contemporary Italian jazz, a well-respected artist and often quoted as one of the best contemporary " young " Italian talents. Oasi proves that he is all this and more. A fine album that leaves one hoping for more...soon!
Track Listing: Oasi (Francesco Maccianti ); Il Mare Placato (Francesco Maccianti ); Love For Sale ( Cole Porter); So in Love (Cole Porter); What Is ? ( Pietro Tonolo ); The Nearness Of You ( Washington--Carmichael ); Piramidi ( Francesco Maccianti ); Cristalli Mulatti ( Francesco Maccianti );You And The Night And The Music ( Schawarz--Dietz ); Eu E A Brisa ( Johnny Alf ).
Personnel: Francesco Maccianti: piano; Walter Paoli – drums; Lello Pareti--acoustic bass; Pietro Tonolo--soprano and tenor sax; Fulvio Sisti--vocals ( 6 & 10 ).
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.