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Chet, We Hardly Knew Ye. Ubiquitous on RED recordings, bassist Giovanni Tommaso conducts a heart-felt, if not a little weird tribute to jazz casualty, Chet Baker. Tommaso is joined by two trumpeters/flugelhornists Flavio Boltro and Paolo Fresu. They provide an eerie awakening motif on the opening “Piccioni Viaggiatori (To Chet)”. After stretching a few minutes, the song wakes up as a Post Bop romp that continues for the rest of the record. Smooth and jaunty, soft and solid, the music on this disc is picture of mainstream Post Bop in the 1990s. A very clear picture.
Italia. Tommaso populates his band with his fellow countrymen, achieving label owner Sergio Veschi goal of exposing and promoting mainstream jazz from Italy. To Chet is a solid offering from journeymen musicians proving that the States are no longer the sole source of exceptional jazz music. This disc is a little on the rough edge of Post Bop and Avant-gard, but there are still many moments to enjoy.
Track Listing: Piccioni Viaggiatori (To Chet); Novembre; O
Personnel: Flavio Boltro, Paolo Fresu: Trumpet, Flugelhorn; Danilo Rea: Piano; Giovanni Tommaso: Bass; Robert Gatto.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.