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Friday, June 6, 2008

Guido Mazzon - As The Crow Flies (Ictus Records, 2008) ****½

I may be writing this review too soon, without having listened sufficiently to this new release by Italian trumpeter Guido Mazzon, but I'm so thrilled by his music, that I can't wait to share my enthusiasm. This CD compiles a number of recordings that Mazzon made over the years with various musicians, and always in small settings, duo or trio. I like this music because it is pure. It is genuine. It is honest. It is deeply felt. He also doesn't care about genres, moving as easily from very classical sounds to avant-garde with everything in between. The first and longest track starts with Andrew Cyrille giving us some great African polyrhythmics, as the intro for Mazzon's trumpet, later joined by Gaetano Liguori on piano. This track alone makes this record worthwhile. And then you have a number of amazing duets : a trumpet duet with the late Lester Bowie, two trumpet-flugelhorn duets with Alberto Mandarini, a sax-piano duet with Mario Schiano, a trumpet-bass duet with Giovanni Maier, two trumpet-sax duets with Roberto Ottaviano. And then a trio with Ellen Christi on vocals and Tiziano Tononi on drums. And the fantastically beautiful solo piece "Fire And Light". This is a true statement of strong musicianship. Mastering the instrument and the possibilities of music in such a way that you're no longer bothered by their limitations, and quite the contrary, that they allow you to bring a direct conduit for the emotions you feel. As Mazzon says it on the liner notes : "Different musicians, different places, different times: one mind about music. Playing like writing on a "tabula rasa" where I draw sounds, emotions, and closed relationships with my partners. Play music to live a common experience, to blow emotions not necessarily to say high concepts, anyway, to tell stories. I've always told the same story in my music, my own story. I only change the colours, the moods, the accents... I think that to be free means make close connections between ideas and feelings: this is a reasonable evolution". A lyrical feast. Highly recommended.

Listen and download from eMusic.


FreeJazzJeff said...

If you enjoyed the Liguori track on this great album, check out the Splasch release 'L'ANIMA DI UN UOMO' the pianist issued with Ottaviano on reeds and Hamid Drake (!!) on percussion from 2004.

Under the radar and a treat beyond treats !