Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

107

Enrico Rava Quintet: Tribe

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Trumpeter Enrico Rava has enjoyed a sustained late-career, creative high since returning to ECM with Easy Living (ECM, 2004) after an absence of 20 years. With a largely new and exciting lineup, Tribe balances new compositions with reworked older material, all imbued with Rava's trademark lyricism, embracing warmth and melodic strength. As the 2008 Touchstone Series reissue of The Pilgrim and the Stars (ECM 1975) demonstrated, Rava's music from nearly four decades ago still sounds remarkably fresh today, and this group excels in bringing new luster to the old, as well as youthful vitality to the new.

Trombonist Gianluca Petrella—a Rava old-hand—again strikes up a relationship so wonderfully empathetic with the leader that the lines between counterpoint and unison playing blur. Repeatedly, they demonstrate an understanding on a par with that forged between Rava and longtime collaborator, pianist Stefano Bollani, and they create the heart of the recording. Rava has the knack too of lifting a stone and uncovering rare talent; pianist Andrea Pozza made the piano chair his own on The Words and the Days (ECM, 2007) following Bollani's departure and similarly, pianist Giovanni Guidi weaves a potent spell here.

Though lighter in touch, sparer, and less unpredictable than Bollani, Guidi plays—to borrow from the title of Rava's book Note necessaire (Minimum Fax , 2004)—the necessary notes, exemplified by his hypnotic play on the dream-like "Paris Baguette," where right and left hands meet seamlessly. On the piano trio piece, "Garbage Can Blues," his Mediterranean-tinged minimalism creates a restful, still-life portrait reverie.

Seemingly simple in construction, there's tremendous breadth and depth to the music and repeated listening unravels the layers. The nostalgic, slowly meandering melody of "Amnesia," carried by Rava and shadowed by Petrella, features busily chattering, yet unobtrusive drumming from Fabrizio Sferra and, at the death, ghostly whispers from guitarist Giaccomo Ancillotto. Like the fainter hues of a rainbow, Ancillotto's shimmering intervention on "F. Express" lends contrasting texture and helps define the stronger colors of a plaintiff-sounding Rava and crisply elegant Guiddi. On this track, and throughout, bassist Gabriele Evangelista provides an explorative, lyrical pulse. His comping is really quietly voiced soloing, fully revealed (though briefly) on the extended "Incognito."

The dramatic "Choctaw"—spurred by Sferra's cymbals and Guiddi's repetitive, Nik Bärtsch-like riff —sees Rava and Petrella alternate between noirish ambience and bolder soloing. Rava's revisited "Cornettology" begins at the same trot—though bop-flavored—before sliding into a freer, arrhythmic field. Slower fare like the gently melancholic "Tears for Neda," the pastoral "Song Tree" and the percussively lively "Planet Earth" showcase Rava's almost unmatched melodic sensibility and emotive depth. Rava and Petrella flirt and dance with each other on the hummable title track, and "Improvisation" rounds off an outstanding set of compositions in slumbering, fitful mood.

Tribe reveals a Rava who is still searching, still challenging his creative possibilities and, as ever, those around him. On trumpet, Rava has never sounded better or more focused. The scintillating playing from the new blood also confirms that change for Rava is indeed, as good as a rest. There's plenty of creative juice left in Rava's tank.

Track Listing: Amnesia; Garbage Can Blues; Choctaw; Incognito; Cornettology; F. Express; Tears for Neda; Song Tree; Paris Baguette; Planet Earth; Tribe; Improvisation.

Personnel: Enrico Rava: trumpet; Gianluca Petrella: trombone; Giovanni Guidi: piano; Gabriele Evangelista: double bass; Fabrizio Sferra: drums; Giacomo Ancillotto: guitar (1, 6-8).

Title: Tribe | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: ECM Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Extremophile" CD/LP/Track Review Extremophile
by John Eyles
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "A Meeting Of Spirits" CD/LP/Track Review A Meeting Of Spirits
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Loneliness Road" CD/LP/Track Review Loneliness Road
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "#Office for the Day" CD/LP/Track Review #Office for the Day
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: December 1, 2017
Read "High Time" CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 17, 2017

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!