Bob Belden: Danza D'Amore


Danza D'Amore


Bob Belden (conductor)


Black Dahlia (Blue Note 23883)

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Bob Belden (conductor), Joe Lovano (tenor sax),

Eric Friedlander (cello), Ira Coleman (bass), Bobby Previte (castanets), Billy Kilson (drums), plus other members of a 65-piece orchestra


Composed by Bob Belden


Recorded: New York, May 1-2, 2000


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

The finest seven minutes of Bob Belden's ambitious Black Dahlia project come on "Danza d'Amore," with Joe Lovano as featured soloist. Although Belden wrote that the music for this tribute to Elizabeth Short's tragic life was inspired by Jerry Goldsmith's score for Polanski's film Chinatown, as well as by certain composers of Grand Opera, nonetheless the textures, the pulse, and even Lovano's improvisation on the track "Danza d'Amore" bear a striking resemblance to parts of Focus, the outstanding 1961 studio collaboration between Stan Getz and composer/arranger Eddie Sauter.

"Danza d'Amore" deals with the quest for true love on the part of Short, a young woman found brutally murdered in Los Angeles in 1947, and who posthumously became known as the "Black Dahlia." Lovano's playing of the dreamily romantic theme is initially supported by lush legato strings, which soon turn to more staccato bursts, and Previte's castanets add mystery to this backdrop for Lovano's extended soloing. Lovano's intricate, yet gliding lines are expressed with a burnished tone, and Friedlander's cello provides a tenacious counterpoint that both inspires and affirms the emotional message of Lovano's captivating improv. Lovano then restates the love theme, with a final dramatic crescendo by the full orchestra in the best film noir tradition. This track presents a wonderful embrace between a gifted soloist and a stimulating arrangement.

Reviewer: Scott Albin


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