A cross-generational project by the grand master of Italian Jazz. Energized by joyous experiences on the road the ever youthful Enrico Rava took his new working quartet of the last two years into Arte Suono Studio in Udine. Here they were joined by trombonist Gianluca Petrella, an internationally noted player through his contributions to Rava’s three acclaimed post-millennium quintet albums Tribe (2011), The Words & The Days (2005) and Easy Living (2003). With Manfred Eicher producing, the five Italians recorded a program of Rava originals which cover a broad range of moods – from brooding ballad playing to fiery uptempo post-bop.
Stalwart Italian jazz trumpeter Enrico Rava introduces his new working quartet for this Wild Dance, joined by longtime playing partner trombonist Gianluca Petrella. Petrella contributed to Rava's three ECM post-millennium quintet albums Tribe (2011), The Words & The Days (2005) and Easy Living (2003). The basic quartet features a guitar rather than piano, recalling Rava's 1970s ECM recordings with John Abercrombie, The Pilgrim And The Stars (1975) and The Plot (1976). Guitarist Francesco Diodati is more of a texturalist in the Bill Frisell mode, contributing to the group sound in different ways from tune to tune. "I often prefer to hear a guitarist playing behind a soloist—not least because guitarists can't play chords with 10 fingers," Rava jokes.
In the late '70s, ECM began releasing a handful of recordings that adhered more closely to solid, modern jazz than to the pastel offerings on which the label had gained some renown. This date, led by Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava, was one such. Joined by the ebullient and raucous trombone master Roswell Rudd, Rava fashioned a good, old-fashioned date with pieces ranging from elegiac to stomping.
It was only after Michael Jackson’s death that Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava gradually became aware that he had for many years been ignoring, in his words, “one of the great protagonists of 20th century music and dance. A total artist. A perfectionist. A genius. I felt the need to delve more deeply into Michael’s world. There was only one way to do that: play his songs.” Thus this live album, recorded at the Rome Auditorium with the Parco della Musica Jazz Lab. Enrico’s trumpet is at its most extroverted here, vaulting above the spirited arrangements by Mauro Ottolini. Michael Jackson’s protean pop songs have never been heard quite like this. Rava is currently playing European festivals with this programme.
Enrico Rava (born 20 August 1939 in Trieste, Italy), is a prolific jazz trumpeter and arguably one of the best known Italian jazz musicians. He originally played trombone, changing to the trumpet after hearing Miles Davis. His first commercial work was as a member of Gato Barbieri's Italian quintet in the mid-1960s; in the late 1960s he was a member of Steve Lacy's group. In 1967 Rava moved to New York City, and one month later became a member of the group Gas Mask, a group that had one LP on Tonsil Records in 1970. He has played with artists such as Carla Bley, Jeanne Lee, Paul Motian, Lee Konitz and Roswell Rudd. Chiefly an exponent of bebop jazz, Enrico Rava has also played successfully in avant-garde settings. His style may partly recall Kenny Wheeler's in its spareness and lightness of tone, albeit Rava's is harmonically simpler.