Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Angelo Olivieri & Alípio C Neto Doppio Trio (Stuart Broomer - POINT OF DEPARTURE)

Progetto Guzman: Angelo Olivieri & Alípio C Neto Double Trio
If Not: omaggio a Mario Schiano
Terresommerse TSJE1013
 This homage to the late Mario Schiano – alto saxophonist, composer, bandleader and spiritual father of Italian free jazz – was organized by the writer Paolo Carradori for a concert commemorating the fortieth anniversary of a Schiano trio performance he had presented in 1969 at the Polveriera Guzman (once literally a powder keg) in Orbetello in Tuscany. The principal instrument of the tribute is the Double Trio, a sextet which has trumpeter Angelo Olivieri and soprano and tenor saxophonist Alipio C Neto each leading a trio with bass and drums. Along the way there are smaller subdivisions of the group as well as expansions with a series of guests that includes two distinguished Schiano collaborators: saxophonist Eugenio Colombo and trombonist Giancarlo Schiaffini.
Mario Schiano was an expressive personality and his music teemed with life – passionate, yearning, explosive and playful by turn. He took the “free” in free jazz seriously, and it meant he could indulge in sentimental pop ballads if he wished as well as long stretches of blues. The Guzman Project is true to that freedom and that breadth. When the Double Trio is playing Schiano’s “If not ecstatic we refund” (heard first with the six musicians then later reprised with Colombo and Schiaffini added) it feels very much like Don Cherry’s mid-sixties Blue Note bands, with Olivieri’s pocket trumpet a central voice surrounded by Neto’s blistering saxophone and the tumult of the paired rhythm sections. The resemblance is even stronger on performances of “Lover Man” and “Accarezzame,” an Italian pop ballad of the 1950s in which Olivieri’s trumpet acts as conductor for the free-time melodies.
There are also spontaneous compositions in which the group changes shape. A quartet of Schiaffini and the Neto trio achieves a rare sense of controlled intensification, a care that still apparent when the group expands to octet and nonet for some brief works with remarkably controlled design: “DQ” is an unlikely combination of hard bop textures, blues and free jazz that succeeds admirably, while the chirping “Corale” has an oddly Messiaen-ic air. Concluding with a tape of one of Schiano’s quirky vocal improvisations, this is a fitting tribute to him, abiding by his apparent credo that every note should mean something. 
–Stuart Broomer

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