344

Pino Minafra: Terronia

By

Sign in to view read count
Pino Minafra: Terronia An alternative visual image of jazz from the classic view staged on the streets of Manhattan might be the scenes from The Talented Mr. Ripley, where jazz accompanies fast drives over rugged Mediterranean coastal terrain and the principal rooting around '50s LP sleeves in a city store. Italy has had a long love affair with jazz, the last thirty years seeing the emergence of a distinctive Italian jazz scene that, while honouring its American origins, has looked to native traditions to refresh the music.

Trumpeter Pino Minafra is one of the most colourful players on the Italian scene. Where Enrico Rava rarely strays too far from the American blueprint, Minafra draws his inspiration widely, from the '60s avant-garde to the sounds of 16th Century Italy. He was responsible for one of the great discs of the 1990s, Sudori, has played a leading role in the Italian Instabile Orchestra, and been a guiding light in the La Banda project that used a traditional town brass band in both operatic lollipops and challenging new jazz compositions.

Terronia is a much more composed album than Sudori. Minafra is geographically particular in his references, dedicating it to the south of Italy and "Souths everywhere"! Perhaps the only disappointment is that we get to hear so little of Minafra the player.

Canto General opens the disc with the sort of ragged ensemble that once graced the recordings of the Jazz Composers Orchestra. "Maccaroni begins as a tango before embarking on a wide musical journey through landscapes evoking Cuba, Mingus-era New York, and New Orleans. On the way strong, impassioned solos by Carlos Actis Dato (baritone) and Sandro Satta (alto) are followed by more relaxed statements by Livio Minafra (piano) and Lauro Rossi (trombone).

"A Mia Madre acts like an operatic intermezzo, Livio Minafra's synthesisers used to astonishing effect to provide a rich backdrop for Pino and the ensemble to enunciate a solemn theme. After a baroque keyboard introduction, "La Danza Del Grillio returns to Minafra's more exuberant side, its Ellingtonian feel enhanced by superb bass clarinet and alto from Dato and Satta, respectively, and the composer's famous megaphone vocalising.

The second half of the disc sees the forces of the Sud Ensemble expanded. "Mediterraneo adds four female singers, affecting a Renaissance choral pastiche before embarking on some extraordinary vocal gymnastics. The disc culminates in the massive twenty-minute title track, performed by Minafra, the singers, and the Meridiana Multijazz Orchestra. In many respects the most overtly Italian composition on the album, its themes resemble the music of 19th Century Italian opera, the central section at last giving the chance to hear the composer's heartfelt trumpet playing.

Terronia is not for listeners who demand extensive improvisation in their jazz. The sleeve notes openly declare that composition lies at its heart. It is, however, a superb illustration of one way in which jazz has been adapted to absorb very different traditions. Strongly recommended to lovers of orchestral jazz in general and Italian jazz in particular.

Track Listing: Canto General; Maccaroni; A Mia Madre; La Danza Del Grillo; Mediterraneo; Terronia.

Personnel: Pino Minafra: trumpet, flugelhorn, voice; Sandro Satta: alto saxophone; Carlo Actis Dato: tenor & baritone saxes, bass clarinet; Lauro Rossi: trombone; Livio Minafra: piano, keyboards; Giovanni Maier: bass; Vincenzo Mazzone: drums, percussion; Vittorino Curci: alto saxophone, voice; Faraualla: female vocal quartet; Meridiana Multijazz Orchestra.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Enja Records | Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 CD/LP/Track Review Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Chapter Five CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read The Hive CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Friday Night in San Francisco" CD/LP/Track Review Friday Night in San Francisco
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Naija Rhythm Affair, NYC" CD/LP/Track Review Naija Rhythm Affair, NYC
by James Nadal
Published: July 12, 2016
Read "Lea Áigi" CD/LP/Track Review Lea Áigi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "Zentuary" CD/LP/Track Review Zentuary
by John Kelman
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "Allied Forces" CD/LP/Track Review Allied Forces
by David A. Orthmann
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Countdown" CD/LP/Track Review Countdown
by Doug Collette
Published: September 17, 2016

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!