Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
Listen to Samples
A forgotten gem
greg taylor | Portland, Oregon United States | 03/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the keys, I have come to believe, to understanding Italian jazz is the sheer diversity of the country, its people and the sort of raucous democracy that diversity generates.
Consider for a moment, the great Italian Instabile Orchestra which Pino Minafra co-founded back in the early nineties. There are many great big bands in jazz these days but in one way the IIO is unique. It is controlled by no one person's musical vision. On the three IIO CDs that I own there are a total of 14 different pieces. One is a cover of Lover Man, the other thirteen were composed by 9 different band members. Usually whoever composed the piece being played controls the baton. The result is a wonderful profusion of styles, a sort of encyclopedia of the possibilities for big bands these days.
What does this have to do with the Sudori? The same sort of diversity seems to exist within some of the individual Italians. All of the Italian players I know love the regional music of where they grew up and they identify themselves not just as Italians but as musicians from that particular region. Minafra wants you to know that he is from Ruvo di Puglia in the south of Italy. He grew up being trained classically like so many of the Europeans and then fell in love with jazz. But not just jazz- with the music of North Africa and the Levant, with circus music and film music and with rock and all sorts of popular musics. Minafra is a fan who wants to put it all together like, I suspect, he hears it playing in his head. He happens to be very good at that.
The band on this CD is stellar: Lauro Rossi on the trombone, Giorgio Occhipinti on the piano and synthesizer, Carlo Actis Dato on tenor and baritone saxophones, Daniele Patumi on the standup bass and Vincenzo Mazzone on the drums.
The compositions are hard to describe because they are so all over the place; there are marches, wonderful romantic trumpet and piano duets where Minafra sounds like he is channeling Chet Baker, growling declamatory vocals, blues, tangos, dirges, great solos by Dato that burst out of the ensemble like some musical storm. Like so many of the Italians, Minafra writes in a wealth of melodies that the band uses and abuses in various ways. At times, I felt like I could hear the influence of Zappa, of Mingus, of Ives, of Morricone, and many others.
But underlying all the influences and the desire to praise everyone and everything he loves, is Minafra's own weirdness and vision. For example, he does this thing with placing his trumpet into a turned around megaphone that gives it a sound like none I have ever heard. At the end of the one solo it sounds like guitar distortion. I would really love to see him do this. I am still not really believing what I hear.
Give this CD a listen. It is in danger of becoming a forgotten gem. Music like this doesn't appeal to everybody, even to those with open ears. But if it does speak to you, you will find that it speaks to you with humor, grace and a very humane sensibility."