Listening to The Angry St. Bernard by musician and composer Giulia Barba, it is surprising to learn that it is her debut recording. A baritone saxophonist (maybe the Italian equivalent to Claire Daly, she displays a jazz veteran's maturity in both her compositions and playing.
The eight tracks recorded here deliver a diverse sound and, more importantly, the promise of multi-directional growth. Doubling on baritone saxophone and bass clarinet, Barba arranges the music to divert the listener's attention to her bandmates.
A native of Bologna, her ties to the Amsterdam jazz scene, where this recording was made, inform the jazz eclecticism heard here. Opening with the post-bop title track, the music sprints under her command. Pianist Sri Hanuraga plows some vocalized heavy McCoy Tyner- like runs that boil over the cooking band. Barba's approach switches gears throughout. Her multi-track bass clarinet solo piece "Me Myself And My Clari" reveals multi-phonic sound rich with extended technique. She delivers a sculpted narrative on "Ballad" that could be mistaken for the legendary bari player Pepper Adams.
Elsewhere the pieces incorporate vocals. Turkish singer Sanem Kalfa supplies a luscious lyric on "Sleeping" and a wordless rendering of the twisty "Ik Word Beter" and the child's poem "Fuio," which Barba underscores with funky rhythms. The baritone and trumpeter Gidon Nunes Vaz dances with drummer Terol Amigó on the (dare it be said) hip-hop inflected "In A Drummer's Head."
Personnel: Julia Barba: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Gidon Nunes Vaz: trumpet; Sri
Hanuraga: piano; Sanem Kalfa: vocals; Terol Amigó: drums.
I love jazz because it expresses things so deep that I can't transform in words.
I met John Pizzarelli.
The best show I ever attended was MASP in São Paulo Brazil.
The first jazz record I bought was a Baby Dodds CD.
My heroes on drums: Papa Jo Jones, Sid Catlett, Gene Krupa, Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Ray Bauduc, Vernell Fournier,
Shelly Manne, Jimmy Cobb, Joe Morello, Daniel Humair, Kenny Clarke, Sonny Carr, Buddy Rich, Sam Woodyard, Cozy Cole,
Sonny Greer, Neil Peart, Carl Palmer, Tony Sbarbaro, Vic Berton, Edison Machado, Milton Banana, Rubens Barsotti.
My heroes in jazz: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal, Coleman Hawkins, Teddy Wilson,
Barney Kessel, Lester Young, Johnny Hodges, Jelly Roll Morton.