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Drummer/composer Federico Ughi presents a collection of songs dedicated to four cities in which he has lived and that have made an impact on his music. His gentle and beautiful approach bridges European and American jazz, but mostly it filters the current New York scene through a silky translucent gauze.
This album of music (explain to your kids that, at one time, artists recorded collections of music and not just singles) maintains a consistent dialogue between the players, the melodies, and the improvisation.
Ughi chose an interesting lineup to fashion his statement. He combined the ferocity of saxophonist Darius Jones (Little Women, Mike Pride's From Bacteria To Boys) with the classically trained jazz convertpianist Eri Yamamoto, and impeccable bassist Ed Schuller (Paul Motian) to create a hybrid quartet.
Ughi's previous duets with Yamamoto on the pianist's Duologue (AUM Fidelity, 2008) might have been a clue to what to expect on this session. His pieces are full of bright melodies ("Tolmin"), bits of nostalgic contemplations ("Through You") and drawn-out blues ("Shadow Remover," "Uno Fa Tanto"). Ughi's ability to pull cogent music out of somewhat over-sentimental pieces is a tribute to his arranging and this extraordinary band.
Jones' saxophone opens "White" with a John Coltrane-like incantation. Schuller's bowed lines and Ughi's tom-tom work summon an exploratory sense. Yamamoto's stilted piano tapping charges the piece with a direction outward while, without giving up the melody, the band just barely holds back the fury. Such is the charm of this session: each piece has the opportunity for exploration and a journey out but, remarkably, never boils over.
Track Listing: Tolmin; When We Cry; Through You; Pasolini the Painter; Claygate; Shadow Remover; Uno Fa Tanto; White.
Personnel: Darius Jones: alto saxophone; Eri Yamamoto: piano; Ed Schuller: bass; Federico Ughi: drums.
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...