Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

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.


Title: Pisa Teatro Verdi, December 1997 | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Leo Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Vertical CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "El Bosque Brillante" CD/LP/Track Review El Bosque Brillante
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: October 7, 2017
Read "Good Merlin" CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Vol. 1 - This Is My Swamp" CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1 - This Is My Swamp
by Paul Naser
Published: September 29, 2017
Read "The Roc" CD/LP/Track Review The Roc
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 6, 2017
Read "Peace and Love" CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: October 31, 2017
Read "Standard Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Standard Blue
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 3, 2017