Home » Jazz Articles » Francesco Guaiana Triptyque: The Spoiled Tree

281

Album Review

Francesco Guaiana Triptyque: The Spoiled Tree

By

Sign in to view read count
Francesco Guaiana Triptyque: The Spoiled Tree
Palermo has, in turns, been designated Italy's cultural, economic, and tourist capital. It has not heretofore been acknowledged for its avant-garde, solo acoustic, spontaneous improv, or modern jazz scenes. Through his consistent issuance of aural postcards from his Byzantine outpost, guitarist Francesco Guaiana has quietly emerged as the region's most gifted practitioner at all of these sub-genres.

2002's Nojaz (Exaudi Records) melded free, inside-outside playing to textural atmospherics, while 2006's solo guitar outing, Clouds in Motion (FGR), adroitly employed loops and effects in real- time to intertwine a legitimately avantist approach with unabashed melodicism.

Guaiana has come forth with his most simple and direct session to date, a trio conventionally deploying heads, verses, choruses, and bridges, incorporating modern- rock influences and colors. He's crafted his most accessible statement: a prequel to his below-the-radar, deceptively developed career.

Guaiana partially drew inspiration for this set of tunes from his stint as an artist-in-residence in Paris, and the musicians and music encountered there. But intriguingly, he claims his greatest inspiration came from an imposing piece of foliage located directly out his window: the "spoiled tree" of the title.

One of the facets of his style that makes him an important player is his deft arpeggiation of unusual chord voicings, which begins the title tune. The notes of the arpeggios act as fluttering, lingering leafs as brushed drums become winds blowing them off their branches and trunk, realized by the building role of electric bass, descending from high to low pitches, coinciding with the cymbals' pulse. It not only evokes the cover portrait, but acts as an evocation of the subject's spirit.

Guaiana's tunes strive to be aural triptyques, as he's accordingly named his band. "Gare de L'Est" achieves the trick via pulsation and propulsion. Classical technique is employed for an etude-like introduction that gives way to a live loops, executed by crystalline right hand technique. This is buoyed by the modern drum'n'bass rhythms of Ruggero Rotolo's kit in combination with Luca LoBianco's off-kilter, proggish bass line. Guaiana employs all varieties of right hand technique into his single-note statement, from staccato alternate-picking passages emphasizing intervallic leaps to more scalar legato phraseology.

While "Canalyze" is the most electric piece, its vicious odd-time vamp is tempered by a lyrical arpeggiated section. Guaiana flies with legato abandon during his aggressive solo section, choking off his cumulative series of lines with a harmonizer pedal and reverse-wah effects. Bass and drums overtake him as he creates a textured loop and long tones for them to energize, deplete, and renew.

Renewal is a theme for Guaiana, who readily reinvents himself on each release, while leaving an imprint. The "spoiled tree" is a metaphor for renewing spirit. As a leafless tree is rested and renewed, so are we on many levels; either in rhythm or opposition to nature. Here, Guaiana reaches the lofty goals of not only evoking this through his music but by also imparting some renewing energy of his own directly to his audience.

Track Listing

Altalena; The Bridge; Appunti Di Viaggio; Canalyze; Reunion; Clessidra; The Spoiled Tree; Gare De L'Est.

Personnel

Francesco Guaiana: guitar; Ruggero Rotolo: drums; Luca LoBianco: electric and acoustic bass.

Album information

Title: The Spoiled Tree | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Fitzcarraldo Records

Post a comment about this album


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

More

The Pan American Nutcracker Suite
Joe McCarthy's New York Afro Bop Alliance Big Band
Gordon Grdina's The Twain feat. Dōjō and...
Gordon Grdina's The Twain feat. Dōjō and...
Senkya Padna
Bodurov Trio

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.