168

Simone Guiducci Gramelot Ensemble: Storie di Fiume

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Simone Guiducci Gramelot Ensemble: Storie di Fiume On first listening to Storie di fiume(River Tales), Simone Guiducci's Gramelot Ensemble's fourth recording, one wonders whether this is folk music colored by jazz, or jazz music influenced by folk. But like the confluence of two rivers there comes a point where it is impossible to distinguish the two separate entities—the absorption is complete and mutual.

On the opening track, "Uomini di fiume," the accordion of Fausto Beccalossi and the clarinet of Achille Succi blend as one, carrying the sweet melody over Guiducci's gently strumming guitar and Roberto Dani's subtle and highly atmospheric percussion work. The ensemble playing fades and Guiducci's guitar emerges to give a tasteful solo. Then, accordion in turn is left to its own devices, accompanied by Salvatore Maiore on bass and the brushes of Dani. Scatting vocals mimic the voice of the accordion, and as the song gathers momentum with the ensemble together again, it recalls vocalist Pedro Aznar-era Metheny, only earthier. It is a stunning opener.

Having defined the melody from the start, a flamenco-ish sounding guitar veers the ensemble into looser, freer territory on "La Leggenda della Vecia Sproc." Guiducci's solo proves what a fine guitarist he is—no excess, no pointless pyrotechnics; every note is telling. Succi picks up the narrative on clarinet in uninhibited style, the ensemble reconnect with the opening melody and a song which began as softly as spring rain ends with a one-chord, screaming, collective exclamation.

Things quieten down a notch on the lovely, reflective "Prima della Pioggia"—Succi's clarinet the primary voice on a song which perfectly illustrates the ensemble's philosophy of emotion over technicality. On "Confluenze," a beautifully spare bass underpins the bass clarinet and accordion solos, but once again the melody eases its way through as though restoring things to their rightful place.

The emphasis throughout the album is on melody and harmony, no more so than on the final track, "Invocazione." Beccalossi and Succi drop out to allow Guiducci the spotlight and his melodic solo is as gentle and graceful as a feather dancing on the wind. Guiducci's style is his own, occupying a space somewhere between John McLaughlin and Antonio Forcione.

This highly talented quintet strikes a perfect balance between improvisation and form on Storie di Fiume. Within this framework melody is paramount, and like the cyclical journey of a river, these fine songs too inevitably come around full circle to the initial melody. Also notable is the space in which the quintet allows each other to breathe. When five musicians are so attuned to the needs of the music, ego goes out the window and one is left with effortlessly beautiful music.


Track Listing: Uomini di fiume; La leggenda della vecia sproc; Prima della pioggia; Confluenze; Invoczione.

Personnel: Simone Guiducci: guitar; Fausto Beccalossi: accordion; Achille Succi: clarinets; Salvatore Maiore: bass; Roberto Dani: drums and percussion.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Felmay


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Open Window / Flying Colors" CD/LP/Track Review Open Window / Flying Colors
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "This Could Be That" CD/LP/Track Review This Could Be That
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "Dyad Plays Jazz Arias" CD/LP/Track Review Dyad Plays Jazz Arias
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Mingus, Mingus, Mingus" CD/LP/Track Review Mingus, Mingus, Mingus
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "What Doesn’t Kill You" CD/LP/Track Review What Doesn’t Kill You
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Strange But Not Entirely Unattractive" CD/LP/Track Review Strange But Not Entirely Unattractive
by Dave Wayne
Published: August 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!