Tuesday, 15 November 2011

reviewing @ london resonance [part 5]

words _ gian paolo galasi

Italy is still a fantastic place if you want to find new music. Nicola Guazzaloca (piano) and Francesco Guerri (cello)'s "Nestor Makhno" (Stella Nera) is a good place to start.

Both teachers at the Scuola popolare di musica Ivan Illich in Bologna and active contributors to the contemporary music / avant garde scene nowadays, they have recorded this album during a series of concerts at the St. Petersburg's Apositsia Art Forum. 

Issued by a label devoted to anarchist ideals, and dedicated to Nestor Makhno (1889-1935), a Russian revolutionary that fought against the Bolsheviks in Moscow and Ukraina strieving for freedom, this duo record is higly recommended to all those who love the music of John Tilbury and Marylin Crispell, just to give a few tips. A record at risk of being highly underrated, that deserves more that one close listening.

Same for Roberto Dani's "Lontano" (Stella Nera), and while the label is growing as far as my consideration - nothing to do with my Italian roots, it is a pure matter of the high quality of the music - and will be highly praised at the end of that year in my playlist, this solo drums record is a perfect balance of sound and silence, aimed at a coherent logic in which Dani's different colors reveal a musician such careful and refined that it is no surprise he played with cellist Erik Friedlander ("Schio - Duemilaquattro", Stella Nera, 2006), and the likes of Michel Godard, Norma Winstone, Annette Peacock and Giorgio Gaslini. 

Intense, meditative, dramatic, quiet, urgent at the same time, this record is another step on a path leading to a relationship with the idea of shape that, after the previous "Drama" (Stella Nera, 2009), shows how the difference between acoustic and electronic music can be thin.

Splasc(H) Records published just last week "Panorami"; Rome-born guitarist Lanfranco Malaguti - between his influences, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and the underestimated Warne Marsh - dedicates his new effort to the paintings of Renato Maurizio. All the compositions, played by Malaguti with Nicola Fazzini (alto sax), Massimo De Mattia (flute) and Luca Colussi (drums) are inspired by his canvas, reproduced in the booklet.

Not an avant/improv musician, Malaguti guitar playing is an attempt to release melody from chords, without juxtaposing to the harmony. The same attempt of the free jazz but with other means, in some ways, trying to connect music, Benoit Mandelbrot mathematics and a statistic approach related to gaussian curves, while Massimo de Mattia, author of a couple of astonishing records this year ("Atto di Dolore" e "Mikiri 3", released by Setola di Maiale) can be considered one of the most intersting musicians now working in Italy both for his tymbrical research on flute and his constructive/deconstructive approach to music. Saxophonist Nicola Fazzini, disciple of Joe Lovano and Bob Brookmeyer and collaborator of Enrico Rava and Peter Erskine, and young drummer Luca Colussi, influenced by Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Fred Hersh and Elvin Jones help in creating a music feeding on different visions, heterogeneous and rich. 

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