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."
Julia Barba: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Gidon Nunes Vaz: trumpet; Sri
Hanuraga: piano; Sanem Kalfa: vocals; Terol Amigó: drums.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.