Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers 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!

134

Paolo Fresu: Songlines / Night & Blue

Greg Simmons By

Sign in to view read count
Paolo Fresu's Songlines/Night & Blue is a beautiful performance by a musician who does not feel compelled to prove himself with pyrotechnics. Instead, on this two-disc set, the Italian trumpeter prefers speaking his piece with lush melodies and a rich full horn sound, supported by an exceptional quartet.

Being an Italian album, it seems appropriate to use a few musical terms. The entire affair, around 140 minutes in length, is taken sostenuto (smoothly), with a pace that slides between adagio (slowly) and andante (walking), but never goes much faster than that. But this down-tempo consistency should not be confused with sloth. Everything here is tightly played, with some real intensity from the musicians; it's just not going to wake the neighbors with frenetic thunder.

These discs really could be taken as two complete albums. The first, Songlines, focuses on compositions by Fresu and other members of his band. The performances are compact and dense, with a great deal of interplay and unison playing between Fresu and saxophonist Tino Tracanna. Fresu's "The Right Way" introduces a hint of funk, with a walking bass line and both front-line horns improvising subtly and in exceptionally good taste. Fresu's muted trumpet wears Miles Davis' influence on its sleeve—homage, but never imitation. Pianist Roberto Cipelli switches to Rhodes for a few tracks to good effect, including his own "Nucleo," which channels a fine 1970s vibe. Every member of the quintet contributes original music to this disc, all crafted with the utmost attention to melodic statement.

The second disc, Night & Blue, covers a range of American popular and jazz tunes. It opens with Cipelli back on piano, stating the theme of "Blue Gardenia," before Fresu overlays that full, warm trumpet, with a tone straight from heaven. Davis' "Blue in Green" is a standout, with Tracanna harmonizing lightly in counterpoint—improvising and then leaving space for his cohorts to join him, to complete one of the finest versions of this track to be cut since the 1959 original. Sonny Rollins' "Blue Seven" adds a bit of cool-swinging blues, while Wayne Shorter's, "Children of the Night," breaks the speed barrier ever-so-slightly. Fresu's take on Horace Silver's "Peace," played with only piano accompaniment, is 99 seconds of pure trumpet splendor.

Finally, a note on the recording itself, which is of very high quality. The instruments are life-sized on the soundstage, and captured with all their overtones and hues intact. Songlines/Night & Blue is capable of showing how good a sound system can perform. Kudos to the engineers on this one.

Track Listing: CD1: Eterninna; Casta Rumba; Airsong; Monitango; Ninna Nanna Per Andrea; Inno Alla Vita; The Right Way; Songlines; Lirico; Wayne; Nuvole Notturne; Nucleo; Aldo E Il Mare; Blue Water; Saturn. CD2: Blue Gardenia (take one); Blue Lace; Blue In Green; Moonlight In Vermont; Summer Night; Nightlake; Blue Samba; Blue Seven; Night Flower; Children Of The Night; You And The Night And The Music; Blue Silver; Peace; Blue Gardenia (take two_.

Personnel: Paolo Fresu: trumpet, flugelhorn; Tino Tracanna: saxophones; Roberto Cipelli; piano, organ; Attilio Zanchi: bass; Ettore Fioravanti; drums.

Title: Songlines / Night & Blue | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Tuk Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Music in the Room CD/LP/Track Review Music in the Room
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2017
Read Of Light and Shadows CD/LP/Track Review Of Light and Shadows
by Phillip Woolever
Published: December 9, 2017
Read Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven CD/LP/Track Review Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven
by Doug Collette
Published: December 9, 2017
Read The Chicago Blues Box 2 CD/LP/Track Review The Chicago Blues Box 2
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 9, 2017
Read I Speilvendthet CD/LP/Track Review I Speilvendthet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 9, 2017
Read Book Of Sound CD/LP/Track Review Book Of Sound
by Gareth Thompson
Published: December 8, 2017
Read "Smooth Shake" CD/LP/Track Review Smooth Shake
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Open Borders" CD/LP/Track Review Open Borders
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 1, 2017
Read "The Wishing Stones" CD/LP/Track Review The Wishing Stones
by John Kelman
Published: November 28, 2017
Read "Backlog" CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "I Am" CD/LP/Track Review I Am
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 13, 2017
Read "Hakos Trios" CD/LP/Track Review Hakos Trios
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 27, 2017

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!