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Italian acoustic guitarist and composer Simone Guiducci has performed with German bass legend Eberhard Weber and American multi-reedist Chris Speed, among other notables. On Storie di Fiume, the artist's alterable Gramelot Ensemble fuses the sounds of Mediterranean folk music with spiraling improvisational forays.
Guiducci's signature invocation of jazz and Italian melodies is something of a trademark sound. At times peaceable and slightly raucous, the leader commandeers linear progressions with veteran woodwind player Achille Succi, solely performing on clarinets for this studio date. Yet the band also turns up the heat in spots, and the soloists deliver scrupulously designed choruses, often based upon memorable hooks amid a celebratory vibe. For example, on "Prima Della Pioggia, Succi and accordionist Fausto Beccalossi generate a sanguine theme as they seem to summon the peaceful aspects of dawn.
Guiducci's meticulous phrasing often sparks gradually climactic opuses which ride atop Beccalossi's pumping lines and the rhythm section's driving pulses. In various spots, the ensemble tempers the flow when an air of romance shares the field with heated jazz choruses. Nonetheless, Guiducci is in peak form hereand many of us wouldn't assume anything less from this cutting-edge stylist.
Track Listing: Uomini di Flume; La Leggenda Della Vecia Sproc; Prima Della Pioggia; Confluenze; Invocazione.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.