Big Band Ritmo Sinfonica Cittą Di Verona: Restless Spirits

Pianist Roberto Magris, to whom this album is a tribute, also performs on it. However, the beautiful keyboard introduction of "Restless Spirits" is not played by Magris. It is the impressive work of Daniele Rotunno. But Magris follows closely behind on Fender Rhodes. The song is quite indicative of its title. There are several dramatic theme changes. The intro suggests a pensive ballad. Once the tune kicks in, though, you might think you're hearing a Broadway show turned dark movie musical, a sort of film noir West Side Story. Then as quickly as you can say "Natalie Wood," the music turns Latin groove with a fantastic solo performance from trumpeter Massimo Greco. Magris offers jazz shadings throughout to maintain the tune's cohesiveness. A rave-up percussion exhibition follows. There are quite a few restless spirits at work here. The best thing to do is to let them loose in whatever form they desire! Magris's compositions work well in the big band setting. They are melodious and full of interesting twists and turns that can be exploited by musicians who know what they are doing. Such is the case with the Big Band Ritmo Sinfonica Cittą Di Verona under the direction of Marco Pasetto.

March 16, 2009 · 0 comments

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Big Band Ritmo Sinfonica Cittą Di Verona: African Mood

Prolific Italian jazz pianist and composer Roberto Magris now has such an impressive catalog that the Big Band Ritmo Sinfonica Cittą Di Verona has seen fit to present some of it under the conductorship of Marco Pasetto. There is no doubt that, although Magris is a great admirer of the American jazz tradition, his fame is almost entirely found in Europe. But as more international listeners discover his talent, his name will surely become better known in modern jazz circles worldwide. Projects such as this one could help that happen.

Magris's melodies and motifs are well suited for the big band sound. (And this band is BIG! At times it has close to 50 musicians.) Nor does it hurt if you invite the honored guest to take part in the performance. "African Mood" is every bit of its title. Rhythmic handclapping and guttural native calls set the mood for our adventure. The full big band sound gives great power to the African rhythms put forth by the band's percussion unit and guest star Sbibu. The horns provide a rhythmic counter, bassline and melodic theme all at once. In the middle of the African jungle, Magris takes a solo turn that contains as much urgency as Tarzan's yell. This cat can play! The band can play too. This is vine-swinging music that is sure to scare off the bad guys and attract all the cool animals from miles around.

March 16, 2009 · 0 comments

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