This is the third release by DFA, one of Italy’s premier fusion outfits, and it provides perhaps the clearest insight yet into what makes them so special to the genre. Recorded at the NEARFest 2000 in Pennsylvania, their first live show in the U.S., Work In Progress Live captures a good deal of the coalescing energy and intuition that the studio discs Lavori in Corso and Duty Free Area couldn’t quite document. This is a band that puts as much effort as possible into advancing the state of instrumental music, and they were in fine form on this day.
Guitarist Silvio Minella possesses a shredder’s heart and a jazzman’s discernment, a precious combination. Likewise, Luca Baldassari’s bass lines are solid, complex yet unobtrusive. While the keyboards have often been relegated to a textural position in fusion over the last decade, Alberto Bonomi isn’t afraid to let his smooth washes and jagged lines step right out and sing. He has the good sense to choose appropriate tones and techniques that don’t date the music before the band can even get going. He and drummer Alberto De Grandis, a fine master of surging, crashing rhythmic power, composed all of the selections here. They also perform the vocals on the lovely, crystalline “Caleidoscopio”. Bonomi’s organ is majestic on “Ragno”, complementing the dotty fabrications of the other performers. Kudos to Moonjune Records for releasing this magnificent show; may we continue to hear more great things from both the label and DFA.
Track Listing: Escher; Caleidoscopio; Trip On Metro; La Via; Pantera; Ragno.
Personnel: Silvio Minella, guitars; Luca Baldassari, electric bass; Alberto Bonomi, keyboards, vocals; Alberto De Grandis, drums, vocals.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.