Enrico Rava: Outsider




Enrico Rava (trumpet)


New York Days (ECM B0012523-02)

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

Composed by Enrico Rava


Recorded: New York, February 2008


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Although I can't read Enrico Rava's mind, "Outsider" could just as well refer to his late mentor Steve Lacy, who spent most of his career outside the normal conventions of jazz. Even as Manfred Eicher's lofty production and Rava's European mannerisms remove some of the edgy tone of Lacy's approach, the adventurous and searching spirit remains in full.

Bassist Larry Grenadier plays a crucial role by setting tempo and introducing the note-chasing theme, perhaps the only pre-composed part of the whole piece. In the middle, Rava and pianist Stefano Bollani engage in musical chatter, and right at the point where the chordal root breaks free, a single note from the trumpeter reins it back in. But it doesn't happen all at once. Players come in and out of the song, leaving behind snippets of free improv before fading away again. Grenadier signals a return to the rapid string of notes he stated at the beginning, only this time it's declared by Rava and Turner.

And somewhere from his special perch in jazz heaven, Steve Lacy looks down approvingly.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron

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