Pianist Giovanni Guidi and trombonist Gianluca Petrella, key figures in what some are hailing as a “golden age” of Italian jazz, found their strong improvisational rapport inside Enrico Rava’s band (see for instance the 2010 ECM album Tribe) and, keen to play more, formed a duo, giving many concerts in which they are intermittently joined by guests. For this studio recording, producer Manfred Eicher brought the duo together with US drummer Gerald Cleaver and French clarinetist Louis Sclavis, for an outgoing set of music which includes lyrical free improvising and tunes composed by Giovanni and Gianluca.
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.
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.
Plenty has happened since Enrico Rava last recorded with his working quintet. All but the piano chair remained stable between Easy Living (ECM, 2004) and The Words And The Days (ECM, 2007), but trombonist Gianluca Petrella is the sole remnant on Tribe. "Change is good," they say, and if the rest of Rava's quintet consists of largely fresh (and young) faces, the lack of name power shouldn't be mistaken for lack of firepower.
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