205

Roberto Gatto: Traps

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Roberto Gatto: Traps Best-known to North American audiences for his work with fellow Italian, trumpeter Enrico Rava on Easy Living (ECM, 2004) and The Words and the Days (ECM, 2007), drummer Roberto Gatto is, nevertheless, a busy artist in his home country, appearing on dozens of albums over the past two decades. He's also a drummer who, like artists including Jack DeJohnette and Peter Erskine, is evolving a discography as a leader that's oftentimes distanced from its rhythm-heavy expectations.

That's not to suggest Traps lacks a pulse. The jocular title track revolves around a quirky, Thelonious Monk-like conceit that serves largely as a context for some lighthearted interplay between Gatto and pianist Luca Mannutza before bassist Luca Bulgarelli and saxophonist Daniele Tittarelli join in for some of the fun. The equally idiosyncratic and aptly titled "Monkish swings along with some propulsive brushwork. "Octagonal is more contemporary, Gatto's staggered yet funky foundation driving Tittarelli's angular solo before settling into a smoother, less jagged pulse for Mannutza's equally modernistic navigation of the ascending harmonies at the core of the tune.

But Gatto is as much a textural drummer as he is a rhythmic one. There's a subtle pulse to the balladic "The Hands, but his approach is spare and Motian-esque. "Whispering is equally introspective but slightly more insistent, while the gentle beauty of the rubato "North is a lyrical feature for both Mannutza and Tittarelli.

"A Night in Salzau combines a subtle tango with impressionistic classicism and a hint of blues, while Kurt Weill's "Was Zahlen Sie —the only non-Gatto tune on the disc—begins with a dynamically expanding rubato intro that recalls some of saxophonist Charles Lloyd's best mid-1990s ECM recordings. It turns into an elegantly melancholic solo vehicle for Tittarelli, where Bulgarelli's firm yet supple support is at its most nuanced; interactive at an almost subconscious level.

Traps occupies two spaces. The first, akin to Peter Erskine's 1990s trio with pianist John Taylor and bassist Palle Danielsson, is all about understatement. The second is more extroverted, though no less diverse. The album's closer, "Catch the Drums, swings furiously and, despite the presence of piano, is clearly inspired by early-1960s Ornette Coleman. It's Gatto's ability—as much a compositional threat as he is a percussive one—to find the nexus of these two seemingly opposing approaches that makes Traps such a thoroughly satisfying experience.

Track Listing: The Hands; Whispering; Traps; Octagonal; Monkish; North; A Night in Salzau; Was Zahlen Sie (extract from �Der Silbersee�); Flow; Catch the Drums.

Personnel: Roberto Gatto: drums; Daniele Tittarelli: alto and soprano saxophones; Luca Mannutza: piano; Luca Bulgarelli: double bass; Umberto Fiorentino: electric guitar (2); Marco Bonni: electric guitar (4).

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: CAM Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Soul Garden CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Authorized Bang Collection CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Super Petite" CD/LP/Track Review Super Petite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Functioning Broke" CD/LP/Track Review Functioning Broke
by Doug Collette
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "Americana" CD/LP/Track Review Americana
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "And to the Republic" CD/LP/Track Review And to the Republic
by Mark F. Turner
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "Passing and Longing and There Is Only a Trace Left" CD/LP/Track Review Passing and Longing and There Is Only a Trace Left
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 15, 2017
Read "Like Songs Like Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Like Songs Like Moons
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 13, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!