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Virginia Genta: Rough Enough

Nicola Negri By

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Virginia Genta is a young Italian saxophonist that has already established herself on the international free jazz scene with the hard working, constantly touring Jooklo Duo (with David Vanzan on drums) and through countless collaborations with important figures in improvised music, from Sonny Simmons and Famoudou Don Moye to Thurston Moore and Kawabata Makoto. This new record—about 10 minutes of music released in a beautifully packaged 7" on Holidays Records—consists of a solo tenor sax improvisation referencing both 1960s Fire Music and European free improv.

A thorough exploration of the physical limits of the saxophone, and mostly devoted to its upper register, the performance is entirely focused on the moment of creation, a urgent musical expression devoid of structural considerations. Both spontaneous, with a powerful, primal expressive urge, and brilliantly constructed, based on the exploration of sound and timbre with an obsessive attention to detail. Both sides follow a similar concept, with seemingly unrelated episodes that keep the tension high, following an inner logic that never fully reveals itself. The phrasing is dictated by breath length, giving the proceedings a natural, inevitable quality, with a clever use of silence that underlies the sonic character of each phrase, amplifying its impact. Every sound produced is explored in depth, with repetitions and micro variations, always on the border between violent manifestation and abrupt disappearance. Genta moves in this liminal zone with an impressive instrumental control, giving equal weight to traditional technique, multiphonics, phantom sounds and accidental rhythms.

Rough Enough is an effective portrait of one of today's free jazz most interesting voices, and a showcase for Genta's uncompromising vision and peculiar ideas about improvisation, rooted in a glorious past but looking straight to the future.

Track Listing: Rough; Enough.

Personnel: Virginia Genta: tenor saxophone.

Title: Rough Enough | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Holidays Records

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