Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

205

Roberto Gatto: Traps

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
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).

Title: Traps | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: CAM Jazz

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration Album Reviews
We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
By Mark Corroto
April 25, 2019
Read Golem Dance Album Reviews
Golem Dance
By Friedrich Kunzmann
April 25, 2019
Read New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4 Album Reviews
New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4
By Dan Bilawsky
April 24, 2019
Read Open Form For Society Album Reviews
Open Form For Society
By Mark Corroto
April 24, 2019
Read Yes Album Reviews
Yes
By John Sharpe
April 24, 2019
Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019
Read Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog Album Reviews
Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019