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This Swiss-Italian trio of well-travelled musicians benefits from ECM Records' fabled sonic ambiance, largely brought to fruition by distinct audio engineering processes, owing to spatial characteristics and great depth. Its sound is categorically different than customary jazz, jazz-rock or avant-garde-tinted productions. Whether it's the artists' subtly creative exercises that are introspective and understated, or guitarist Roberto Pianca's hardcore rock guitar voicings manning the helm, the band is also at ease when lightly navigating across rolling hills and winding paths.
Saxophonist Nicolas Masson's surging sax parts often take on spiritual implications. On "Improvisation 2," Pianca's grunge guitar phrasings offer an expansive plane for Masson's yearning lines atop Emanuele Maniscalco's snappy drumming. It's like the musicians are communicating with a higher authority, but with might and fortitude. With asymmetrical progressions framed on lament and solemn improvisational segments, the trio's diverse offering elicits a sense of anticipation throughout.
The trio enters a forbidden zone during "Freeze," amped by Pianca's distortion- laced notes and Maniscalco's tumbling tom rolls; yet Masson's singing choruses on "Improvisation 4" subliminally translate into an imaginary scenario of Billie Holiday belting out an avant-shaped blues number. The trio mixes it up within the free-zone on "Neuer Mond," engaging in a clustering series of dialogues that serve as a robust vehicle for Masson. Intense and sublime, Third Reel presents an emotively charged force that yields an abundance of hearty rewards amidst the dips, spikes and offbeat passages, all meshed into a transcendental time warp of sorts.
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.