Leave it to the Italians for supplying us with their cooking recipes, (norimaki & meat and seafood paella) within the CD liners, as guitarist Enzo Rocco and multi-woodwind specialist Carlo Actis Dato are at it again with this new release, appropriately titled, Paella & Norimaki. Here, two of Italy’s most notable exponents of the new jazz way of thinking, perform a series of duets as the twosome integrates Mediterranean style lyricism with heated improv and a myriad of abstract themes along with the artist’s sporadic injections of humor and whimsy.
Not unlike a pair of rambunctious school chums exploring life’s offerings, the duo demonstrates willful, good-natured fun on works such as “Keffah”, where Dato’s often-audacious bass clarinet lines and Rocco’s blazing chord progressions coalesce for a motif that also draws similarities to Italian wedding music. Essentially, the musicians provide the listener with a series of rhythmically based works amid alternating dialogue and superb soloing. Throughout, the duo uncorks a multitude of polychromatic yet well organized sequences as they wittily cross genres whether pursuing Mexican-style serenades, flamenco, or two-step waltzes. However, the musicians’ rapidly executed unison choruses and fervent improvisational speak, equates to a modern jazz outing of the highest order.
With the piece titled, “Mondo Giusto”, the musicians introduce a spaghetti western-like theme along with brief incantations and intuitive interplay atop shrewd deconstruction of the primary melody while Dato hammers his baritone sax into submission. Overall, Paella & Norimaki is an appetizing feast for the aural senses! Recommended.
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total)
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total). He saw an alto sax on my neck and said: Hey, how about you there, would you like to play something for us? I played a piece with the piano. OK, said Lee, how about you play something unaccompanied? Oh yeah! I was deep into transcribing Sonny Stitt and pretty much into playing as fast as possible as many right notes as possible. So I played Oleo in about 300 beats per minute and was very proud of myself. Lee was tapping his foot all the way through. Hmm, he said, that was in time and all that... (I thought - yeah, of course, haha!) and then he said, You've got a lot of quantity, how about quality? It took me 15 years to realize what he meant.