Clusone 3: Skylark
Rara Avis (Hatology 523)
Michael Moore (alto sax),
Ernst Reijseger (cello), Han Bennink (drums).
Composed by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer.
Recorded: Berikon, Switzerland, December 13, 1997
Rating: 88/100 (learn more)
"Rara Avis" (Latin for rare bird) is indeed what the Clusone 3 were. Their group name comes from the Italian festival where they met in 1988, and from then on till they disbanded ten years later this Dutch/American trio was one of Europe's most original bands. That was essentially due to the strong personality of each member and, on this record, to their repertoire, devoted to songs about (rare) birds. The strangest thing here is certainly that the Clusone 3 treats "Skylark" quite simply, focusing on the melody and on their trio sound: cello plucked in bass-like style, sparse brushes on the toms, crystal-clear alto sound. A beautiful and surprisingly economical rendition, played by usually much more extroverted musicians.
Reviewer: Thierry Quénum