145

Italian Instabile Festival: Pisa Teatro Verdi, December 1997

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
This sprawling 2-disc set contains a stunning abundance of great music. The 19-member orchestra includes a number of luminaries of the Italian jazz and free music scenes, most of them largely unsung Stateside: the mercurial and hypnotic Carlo Actis Dato (tenor and baritone saxophones, bass clarinet); the wily, grizzled veteran Enrico Rava (trumpet); Bruno Tommaso (double bass); Mario Schiano (soprano and alto saxophones, voice); and Gianluigi Trovesi (alto sax and alto, bass, and piccolo clarinets). The other fourteen members of the ensemble are up to the fast company: Luca Calabrese (trumpet); Daniele Cavallanti (tenor and baritone saxophones, ney, bendir); Eugenio Colombo (soprano and alto sax, flute, piccolo); Paolo Damiani (cello, double bass); Renato Geremia (soprano and alto saxophones, violin, flute, piano); Martin Mayes (French horn); Guido Mazzon (trumpet); Vincenzo Mazzone (drums); Pino Minafra (trumpet, fluegelhorn, bullhorn); Umberto Petrin (piano); Lauro Rossi (trombone); Giancarlo Schiaffini (trombone, tuba, baritone horn, live electronics); Tiziano Tononi (drums, gong, Udu drums, djembe, shakers, bells, whistles, maracas); and Sebi Tramontana (trombone, live electronics).

Whew. You may imagine that a group this large and versatile can generate a big sound, and these 19 virtuosi deliver in spades. On tracks like "Ballata" and "Sud" they play with considerable agility and feature a number of memorable solos. But perhaps the greatest aspect of the Italian Istabile Orchestra is that it is a whole made up of a sum of other wholes. It breaks into many constituent parts during the course of this live date, and each is as absorbing in its own way as the full ensemble. Take, for example, Eugenio "Rahsaan" Colombo, who earns the nickname by playing alto and soprano together on "Cadice," in marvelous harmony with himself, and with a fine swinging sensibility. Colombo is a revelation; he plays flute effectively on several other tracks, and proves himself to be definitely a name to be watched.

Also on hand is the Moers Brass Quintet: Schiaffini, Tramontana, Rossi, Mayes, and Colombo, delivering a chunk of uncompromising abstraction on "Und dann Schluss), achieving some forward motion behind Colombo's driving flute. Rava and Minafra spin a tremendous contrapuntal dialogue on "Free as a Bird," and Carlo Actis Dato is sensational as usual on "Laggiù la notte," on solo bass clarinet. Bassist Bruno Tommaso shines with his bow on the furiously abstract "To Be Continued," a feature for the Gruppo Romano Free Jazz, a trio with Schaino and Schiaffini. Guido Mazzon and Umberto Petrin combine for an all-too-brief "Impromptu," featuring Petrin's Monkish chording and haunting trumpet work from Guido.

But in fact the highlights are too many and various to name here. A feast, a banquet of improvised music of all sorts.

| Record Label: Leo Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Man Made Object" CD/LP/Track Review Man Made Object
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 10, 2016
Read "Black Ice" CD/LP/Track Review Black Ice
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Functioning Broke" CD/LP/Track Review Functioning Broke
by Doug Collette
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "Empty The Headbin" CD/LP/Track Review Empty The Headbin
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 15, 2016
Read "Reconnect" CD/LP/Track Review Reconnect
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: February 26, 2016
Read "Natural Language" CD/LP/Track Review Natural Language
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!