The jazz guitar in this modern era has often been like Godzilla in Tokyo. It dominates, rocks, and blots out the sun. Okay, not Jim Hall’s guitar – but in this MTV world, our focus and attention naturally falls upon the guitarist. The 21st century listener’s frame of reference for all things guitar is rock and roll.
Just the opposite is the beauty of guitarist Giovanni Moltoni’s Openground. His unobtrusive manner is certainly antithesis of rock. Like a recording by Hank Jones or Charles Lloyd, his music breathes and gives the listener’s ears a sonic massage. The trio heard here are all Berklee College faculty members. The Italian-born Moltoni has been teaching there for the past six years. While there is nothing groundbreaking here, there is a subtle allure and sophisticated swing that has kept this disc in heavy rotation around these parts.
The disc opens with an almost waltz, “After The Rain.” The ease at which the three trade off notes with such casualness informs the remainder of the album. Moltoni penned all the tracks, seven for the trio and two solo. “Sometimes I Will” is played electric and the closer “White & Blue” for his acoustic guitar.
It’s not that Moltoni can’t rock out. Both “Altered Fill” and “The Feast” take hints from jazz’s more aggressive forms. Yet, there is plenty of space present throughout. The boppish “Blues For Sale” is a fresh take on classic blues chords, all three players trading off and passing around notes.
Moltoni’s elegance and simple lines bear repeated listenings.
Track Listing: After The Rain; Song For Jen; Look At The Bright Side; Sometimes I Will; Altered Fill; Leaving Early;
The Feast; Blues For Sale; White & Blue.
Personnel: Giovanni Moltoni - Guitar; Paul Del Nero - Bass; Bob Tamagni - Drums.
Year Released: 2003
| Record Label: C#2 Music
| Style: Modern Jazz
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.