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Luca Aquino: OverDOORS

Nicholas F. Mondello By

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Nearly fifty years after they burst onto the rock scene and into legend, The Doors, led by gone-too-soon rocker, Jim Morrison still resonate through the music world. However, oddly outside of their most successful hit, "Light My Fire," little of the group's repertoire has been explored by jazz artists. Italian jazz trumpeter and innovative sonic explorer, Luca Aquino has always had a special affection for the legendary group and, with this recording, moves the Doors' music into areas into which it has never opened and set foot.

Aquino, who has experimented with various unique textural platforms—electronic and otherwise—in his prior artistic explorations, continues that visionary path here. He approaches the vaunted material with both a respect for the original source and expands upon it with his amplified, wah-wahed, and generally "geared" up trumpet. It is obvious from the starting gate that this will be a highly-charged ride commencing with Aquino's frantic take on "Peace Frog."

As an improviser within the enhanced Rock format, Aquino's rich, velvet-toned, Chet Baker-esque trumpet blends exceptionally well with all of the machinations spinning around him ("Waiting for the Sun," "Blue Sunday," and "Ship of Fools"). There's a definite textural congruence with how he approaches this well-known material creatively; something that is credit to his artistic and production savvy. From a leader and arranger's stance, Aquino demos that he knows his stuff. He's taken the Doors' canon—which, of course—included lyrics—and plugged his instrumental vision in so well that the recording reflects the original while standing admirably on its own ("Yes, the River Knows," a gorgeous duet with acoustic guitar and with "Hyacinth House").

The accompanying musicians—bass, guitar and drums (with vocals added on selected tracks) are technically superb and utterly fierce in their combined approach ("Queen of the Highway," a mystical "Riders on the Storm," and a highly charged, near-unrecognizable version of "Light My Fire").

Doors purists might understandably have a preference for the real thing. However, you have to give Aquino and his mates their due. Their ship passes Morrison's in admiring review -saluting, renewing, and reinvigorating. It's a very fine journey well-worth plugging into.

Track Listing: Peace Frog; Waiting for the Sun; OverDoors; Blue Sunday; Queen of the Highway; ship of the Fools; Yes, the River Knows; Riders on the Storm; Hyacinth House; Light My Fire; Indian Summer.

Personnel: Luca Aquino: trumpet and live electronics; Dario Miranda: electric bass; Antonio Jasevoli: guitars; Lele Tomasi: drums; Rodolphe Berger: voice and guitars (8); Petra Magoni: vocal (5); Carolina Bubbico: vocal (11).

Title: OverDOORS | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Tuk Music

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