Ada Rovatti: The Untold Story


The Untold Story


Ada Rovatti (tenor sax)


Green Factor (PRCD 001)

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Ada Rovatti (tenor sax),

Christian Howes (violin), George Colligan (piano), Adam Rogers (guitar), Janek Gwizdala (electric bass), Obed Calvaire (drums)


Composed by Ada Rovatti


Recorded: May 8-9, 2008


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

I remember back in 1988 popping in Michael Brecker's newest CD Don't Try This At Home and being blown away by the opening track, "Itsbynne Reel." It was the first time I'd heard traditional Celtic music blended with modern jazz, and it was a spellbinding combination. It's also a direction not much pursued. Until now.

Ada Rovatti's Green Factor is mostly devoted to this delectable hybrid of two seemingly incompatible styles, and this young Italian saxophonist does it in poised, sophisticated fashion. "The Untold Story" is one of the album's better examples of this uncommon flavor of world fusion. Like "Itsbynne Reel," it fools listeners into thinking they've inadvertently selected the Riverdance soundtrack instead of a jazz record. But the snaking violin/sax unison at the beginning soon shares space with fluff-free American jazz-rock fusion.

Guitarist Adam Rogers goes first in the solo buffet line, his playing loose and resourceful. Rovatti next lets loose with an aggressive, muscular tenor solo that evokes some of the past masters (Coltrane, Brecker) but never falls into clichéd replication of their licks. Her style is advanced and crisp without going over the top.

It's much harder these days to make fusion sound fresh and interesting. Rovatti is one of a select few of today's players who has figured out how to do it.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron


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