Rudi RecordsCreative Music and Adventurous Jazz

Downtown Music Gallery review | Sounds Of Hope

DANIELE CAVALLANTI and THE MILANO CONTEMPORARY ART ENSEMBLE - Sounds of Hope (Rudi Records 1026; Italy) The Milano Contemporary Art Ensemble consists of some 13 members so we will list just a few of the more known names: Daniele Cavallanti & Riccardo Luppi on reeds, Luca Calabrese & Beppe Caruso on brass and Tiziano Tononi on drums. Reeds wiz Daniele Cavallanti and drummer Tiziano Tononi have been working together for many years with more than a dozen discs together of various projects. Just last week (2/19/16), we listed a CD by Brooklyn Express which included these two plus several Downtowners. I always dig anything I hear from these two, especially their tributes to Don Cherry, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and John Coltrane. For this disc, Mr. Cavallanti organized a wonderful mid-sized (13-piece) ensemble, an all-star unit of Italy’s finest. The original music was inspired by and dedicated to American sax legends: Joe Henderson, Sam Rivers, Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell. There are three well-selected covers: two by Mongezi Feza and one by Wayne Shorter. The first piece, “The Joe Rivers Blues” (for Henderson & Rivers) is a strong opening salvo. Aside from the spirited solos from Cavallanti on tenor and Caruso on trombone, the entire ensemble has that infectious McCoy Tyner-like large group sound. Blue Notes/Brotherhood of Breath trumpet hero Mongezi Feza’s “You Ain’t Gonna Know Me ‘Cos You Think You Know Me”, has that intoxicating South African gospel/funk/jazz theme before it takes off into a freer section and then back to the opening melody. My favorite piece is called “Braxtown” and dedicated to Anthony Braxton. The piece has that unique, rather scientific Braxtonian sound (several intersection layers) with some incredible solos for the contrabass sax (Massimo Falascone) and two drummers. Like everything else we’ve heard from Mr. Cavallanti and Mr. Tononi, it is impossible to tell that these two are Italian musicians since they are so heavily influenced by American avant jazz. The title of this disc, ’Sounds of Hope’ seems most appropriate since this music is so positive and filled with festive spirits. Superb! [Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery]

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