Italian Instabile Orchestra: Il Maestro Muratore


Il Maestro Muratore


Italian Instabile Orchestra


Skies of Europe (ECM)

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Pino Minafra, Alberto Mandarini, Guido Mazzon (trumpets), Giancarlo Schiaffini (trombone, tuba), Lauro Rossi, Sebi Tramontana (trombones), Martin Mayes (French horn, mellophone), Mario Schiano (alto & soprano saxes), Eugenio Colombo (alto & soprano saxes, flute), Gianluigi Trovesi (alto sax, alto clarinet, bass clarinet), Carlo Actis Dato (tenor & baritone saxes, bass clarinet), Daniele Cavallanti (tenor & baritone saxes), Renato Geremia (violin), Paolo Damiani (cello), Bruno Tommaso (bass), Tiziano Tononi (drums, percussion), Vicenzo Mazzone (tympani, drums, percussion)


Composed by Bruno Tommaso


Recorded: Florence, Italy, May 1994


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Italy, which is often noted for its inability to achieve political unity, has nevertheless managed to produce an 18-piece orchestra whose members are almost all leaders of their own bands. No ordinary orchestra, then. The Italian Instabile Orchestra (whose personnel, as the name suggests, is liable to swell and evolve) was from its inception one of Europe's most stimulating large modern bands. This track ("The Master Mason" in English) shows the Instabile Orchestra at its arguably best period, displaying typically Mediterranean melodic inspiration on a modal 3/4 vamp arranged in a simple, efficient way. Another of Instabile's assets was that most of its members were potentially raunchy, free improvisers, be they veterans such as Gaslini, Schiano and Trovesi or younger musicians such as Rossi or Actis Dato. Nowadays the Instabile seldom plays, but this album (whose title clearly alludes to Ornette Coleman's Skies of America) is a milestone, set by master builders not only in the history of Italian jazz, but of European jazz at large.

Reviewer: Thierry Quénum

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