miércoles, 23 de diciembre de 2015

Rafaello Pareti "The Roar at the Door" - Il Mondo Che Verrà (2015)



Dopo il debutto quattro anni fa con The Roar at the Door il quartetto del contrabbassista toscano è tornato negli studi di Stefano Amerio per incidere un nuovo album in continuità col precedente: otto composizioni originali articolate nei tempi e nelle strutture che s'impongono per il trascinante drive ritmico e il veemente gioco di relazioni tra i musicisti. 

Raffaello Pareti nelle note del disco si sofferma sui propri rapporti con la composizione ammettendo di non avere un metodo di lavoro disciplinato: "Aspetto paziente che un'idea abbocchi all'amo e così, come un cercatore di metalli preziosi, passo al setaccio le idee che seleziono dal riesame delle improvvisazioni (per lo più vocali) che scaturiscono in risposta a un brano, o un'idea, che ha infiammato la mia fantasia." 

Quale che sia il metodo, i brani di Pareti s'impongono per la chiarezza delle soluzioni espressive, spesso giocate su frasi-tema o figure ritmiche ostinate che fungono da ossatura per ulteriori sviluppi. Una scrittura che lascia ampio spazio all'eccellente contributo di Francesco Bearzatti e Mauro Ottolini. 


Il percorso musicale è fantasioso e variopinto. Alcuni brani si presentano con un taglio ritmico marcato (talvolta contagiosamente funky), efficaci parti esposte all'unisono e incisivi interventi personali: è il caso dei due nervosi temi introduttivi, "La strada" e "Il bar delle fragole," ma anche di "Crickets in My Head" e del conclusivo "Effetto Otto." In altri momenti ("Tra chiaro e oscuro," "Sirene") prevale un clima riflessivo, con cantabili melodie disegnate dal radioso clarinetto di Bearzatti e dell'evocativo trombone con sordina di Ottolini. Ma il tema di maggior presa è "Notturno," che s'impone per il clima deliziosamente retrò e le contagiose soluzioni ritmico melodiche. Sarebbe la colonna sonora ideale per un film noir ambientato negli anni cinquanta.


Francesco Bearzatti: sax tenore, clarinetto
Mauro Ottolini: trombone, tromba bassa, flauti sardi
Raffaello Pareti: contrabbasso
Walter Paoli: batteria

La strada
Il bar delle fragole
Tra chiaro e oscuro
Il mondo che verrà
Sirene
Crickets in My Head
Notturno
Effetto Otto


JAVI

Rodrigo Amado/Joe McPhee/Kent Kessler/Chris Corsano - This Is Our Language (NotTwo, 2015)


Photo: courtesy of Nuno Martins


One recent September evening, my ears mostly deafened by the muscular performance of London Ontario’s legendary noise progenitors The Nihilist Spasm Band, I floated towards the bar and ordered a beer. Joe McPhee, who had guested that evening on pocket trumpet (and styrofoam cup) materialized to my left. I immediately introduced myself and gushed praise about his new release This Is Our Language on Poland’s venerable Not Two label, which I had received only a week or two earlier. Mr. McPhee’s eyes widened. “You have that?!” he asked incredulously. “I don’t have a copy yet. I’ve been on the road though, so maybe it’s waiting for me at home.” I explained that I’d been captivated by the beautiful album art on Rodrigo Amado’s website (www.rodrigoamado.com - who’s as capable a photographer as he is a musician), and had purchased it directly from label head Marek Winiarski. 

The classic idiom, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” does not apply to this album. Even a cursory glance at This Is Our Language would stop a casual reader of this blog in their tracks. There’s clearly something special on offer here. A crisp block white typeface - the kind favored by Peter Brotzmann - announces the album title over a largely black background. The four musicians (leader Rodrigo Amado on tenor saxophone, Joe McPhee on pocket trumpet and alto saxophone, bassist Kent Kessler, and drummer Chris Corsano) are spotlit in a sparse, gentle yellow. The four figures are concealed and not immediately obvious - much like the ideas contained on the disc.

This Is Our Language is a natural extension of the similarly titled This Is Our Music by the Ornette Coleman Quartet (Atlantic, 1961). Amado’s group enjoys the same clairvoyant chemistry as Coleman’s did, and are no less equipped to deliver their message. Amado et al. summarize and expound upon the fifty-odd years of achievements in free jazz that have passed since Coleman’s opus. Ken Burns’ 2001 PBS miniseries Jazz may not have adequately covered the scope of this criminally neglected sub-genre, but fourteen years later, Amado has. 

The album opens with Amado and McPhee slowly interlacing phrases in the aptly titled, ‘The Primal Word’, a sedate soundscape which mirrors the mysterious aura of the cover. Interactions liven with the inclusion of an inquisitive Kessler at the two-minute mark. ‘This Is Our Language’ begins with McPhee playfully imitating a swanee whistle, and Corsano leads us gracefully towards incendiary statements from both McPhee and Amado. The two summon the melodic auras of Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman while maintaining their own modern, pointed attacks. McPhee bubbles with youthful and joyous creativity, vocalizing into his horn, his moans blurring into smeared notes. The disc’s final track, ‘Human Behaviour’, draws on the duo interplay of McPhee and Amado that began the disc. At this point the group’s sound has blown wide open and the mystery is revealed, Kessler’s strings buzzing against the fretboard earnestly and without abandon. McPhee appears a final time delivering at first ringing, almost stately lines that eventually dissolve into spiraling, sonic spurts. 

Lisbon’s Rodrigo Amado has chosen a crack team of improvisers with whom to present his vocabulary. With This Is Our Language, he has succeeded in uniting the varied parlances of creative musicians around the world. Over the span of forty-three minutes, Amado has condensed a diverse array of concepts that blossom and mature with each listening. This is a commanding and authoritative recording that should not be missed.


Rodrigo Amado: tenor saxophone
Joe McPhee: pocket trumpet, alto saxophone
Kent Kessler: double bass
Chris Corsano: drums

The Primal Word
This Is Our Language
Theory Of Mind (For Joe)
Ritual Evolution
Human Behavior


JAVI