Enrico Rava: Lulů




Enrico Rava (trumpet)


New York Days (ECM 2064)

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Enrico Rava (trumpet), Stefano Bollani (piano), Mark Turner (tenor sax), Larry Grenadier (bass), Paul Motian (drums).

Composed by Enrico Rava


Recorded: New York, February 2008


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

At first glance, this summit of leading Italian and American jazz musicians might seem to present an incongruous combination. The world may be getting smaller in a virtual sense, but even today U.S. and European jazz bands usually embrace different conceptions of the beat, of melodic development, even contrasting approaches to pacing a solo. Yet the lineup here is quite an inspired combination. These are five world-class musicians who are also great listeners. From the opening whispers between Bollani and Motian until the final outside-the-chords wail by Rava over the rubato rhythm section, this music proceeds as a hypersensitive polyphonic dialogue, in which even the silences seem charged with significance. Despite the CD title New York Days, a European aesthetic is at work here; but Motian, Grenadier and Turner must have worn their Armani suits to this gig—certainly they sound perfectly at home, and thrive in the floating funhouse sprung from Rava's fervent imagination. All-star lineups of this sort usually last for one CD, then the artists move on to different projects; but I would be delighted to see this band reunited for another date. Maybe Milan and Manhattan are getting closer together.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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