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Pericopes+1: Up

Geno Thackara BY

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Pericopes+1: Up
For a recording titled Up, this one sure spends a lot of time going sideways. Cue the opening track and you're carried away on waves of briskly-flowing piano and saxophone as if there isn't a thing in the world to worry about. The feel becomes a bit more angular with the next, the drums leaning somewhat jittery as the sax breaks up the smoothness with a few heavier wails. It turns out they're only getting started; the players soon takes a hard turn into choppy rhythmic waters as the wails gain steam. Before you know it, Emiliano Vernizzi is garnishing his horn with some electronic squeals and blowing sharp stabs reminiscent of Back Door's Ron Aspery.

Well, Pericopes+1 hasn't been garnering their reputation as a startlingly eclectic trio for nothing. Up offers a solid hour of these twists and turns all over the tonal map. Alessandro Sgobbio spins elegantly beautiful piano lines in one moment and happily crashes alongside Nick Wight's clattering drums the next, somehow making the transitions feel less like sharp corners than natural curves in the road. "Disco Gagarin" ends up jumping into the juicier end of the fusion pool, while the likes of "Danza di Kuwa" slow down enough to fit in a spacey opium dream into the set as well.

While the middle stretch makes it seem like the album's dissolved into noise, the three do drift back to groove—albeit temporarily, as they still can't resist spicing up the almost-catchy daydream of "La Rentrée" with more fierce jamming and electricity. The disc winds down with a soothing track that's labeled as Dire Straits' "Sultans of Swing" but has mutated beyond any recognition, which comes out perfectly apt: it's both a smart distillation and a soothing way to return us to earth after the preceding craziness. Doubtlessly it's still just another temporary stop until they inevitably take off somewhere new and unexpected yet again.

Track Listing

Wonderland; Ucronia; Disco Gagarin; The Earth´s Shape; Danza di Kuwa; Martyrlied; Gorod Malinov; La Rentrée; Sultans of Swing.

Personnel

Emiliano Vernizzi: saxophone; Alessandro Sgobbio: piano; Nick Wight: drums.

Additional Instrumentation

Alessandro Sgobbio piano, Fender Rhodes, electronics; Emiliano Vernizzi tenor saxophone, electronics; Nick Wight drums. String section on The Earth´s Shape: Anna Pollonio, Giulia Pontarolo, Margherita Cissio, Andrea Musto.

Album information

Title: Up | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Losen Records

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