Often in order to move forward, we must first look back, seeking lessons in our failings as well as our successes. The English translation of Argentinian composer Carlos Franzetti's Recordare
is "to remember." It would seem that during this trip to the studio, he has stuck his nose firmly in the past. With a career consisting mostly of successes, Franzetti's habit has always been to flavor his varied projects with his own personality and heritage. Though the pianist reserves a particular affection for both the tango and the classical concerto, this more grounded album is refreshingly devoid of those styles. Instead, Franzetti focuses his efforts equally between reinterpreting his past compositions as well as performing jazz renditions of songs lifted from film soundtracks.
The trio does a pleasant job handling Franzetti's own previous works, including "Allison's Dance," "Song without Words," and the lesser-known "B. A. Express," an energetic tune he wrote during the mid-eighties for the Michael Camilo band, then known as French Toast. Digging deeper still into his compositional history book, Franzetti has also reinterpreted "Sausalito," a Latin-grooved tune with a sparkling, upbeat sound.
tends to shine most though, is in the trio's time spent playing music sourced from film scores. While the comfortingly familiar "Over The Rainbow" and songs such as "Promenade Sentimentale" or the Pinocchio classic "When You Wish Upon A Star" are vivid moments on the album, it is Franzetti's new interpretation of "L'Amour Est Bien Plus Fort Que Nous" which provides a high point for the band. Taken from the well-known French film "A Man and a Woman," and written by Francis Lai, Franzetti utilizes both the original melody as well as other pieces of Lai's soundtrack to weave together a pleasingly effusive work. Bassist David Fenck has a strong presence throughout, giving the ballad a warm tone and setting the background upon which Franzetti's piano builds. With exactly two minutes remaining of the album's longest song, Eliot Zigmund, who many may remember as having played drums on Bill Evans' classic "You Must Believe In Spring," rolls over Fenck's rhythm to drive the brief yet satifying finale.
Though well-balanced, if the album suffers a low point, it is the odd inclusion of the traditional "Danny Boy." Due to the bass-heavy mix, David Finck's playing is a bit muddled out, and the song dawdles for six somewhat directionless minutes. This is a small complaint however, in comparison to the rest of the recording.
Rather than a vehicle for his driven, passionate side, Recordare
showcases Franzetti at his most relaxed and comfortable. There is a beautiful, lyrical lilt to his playing, and listeners with a bit of patience will find a comforting spectrum of emotions present on the album. This trip down memory lane is a fine, fond one.