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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.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.