Friday, March 18, 2011

Enrico Rava: Pupa o crisalide (Vista, 1975)

Enrico Rava's the one musician who's almost unanimously credited abroad to have invented Italian Jazz. As a matter of fact, he was the one who first got some important international recognization back in the early Seventies, and brought the attention of foreign jazz listeners to our rising Italian scene.

"Pupa o crisalide" isn't his most acclaimed record, but it's my favourite one. It's a good summary of the first phase of his solo career, and it contains tracks recorded with three different ensembles: an all-Italian line-up for the opener and closer - recorded in Rome, an Argentinian octet for the B-side of the lp - recorded in Buenos Aires, and finally an impressive American septet (just two names: Jack DeJohnette, John Abercrombie) for the A-side, recorded in New York.
The musical style clearly reflects the composite nature of the album. The first half is funkier, edgier and more fiery, evidently influenced by the jazz-rock/fusion tendencies that were spreading during those years. The second one is more placid and skippy, and elegantly incorporates some latin/samba elements in the alchemy.
The two halves are held together by the timbric similarity of the line-ups (which feature almost the same elements), and by Enrico Rava's renown trumpet style. Often compared to Miles Davis and Kenny Wheeler, his technique envisages rarefied notes, full of ambience, and erratic melodic lines which surprisingly do not undermine the "presence" of his trumpet sound. On the contrary, Rava's trumpet charisma seems to emerge right from this amazing equilibrium of detachedness and red-bloodedness.

Check out "Quotation Marks" too if you like this record.

  1. Pupa o crisalide
  2. C.T.'s Dance
  3. Tsakwe
  4. El Samba Graciela
  5. Revisione del processo n. 6
  6. Lingua franca
  7. Giromondo (per piccoli feddayn, terzi bimbi e altri mutanti)
Tracks 1, 7:
  • Giovanni Tommaso (bass)
  • Bruno Biriaco (drums)
  • Michele Ascolese (guitar)
  • Mandrake (percussion)
  • Franco D'Andrea (piano)
  • Tommaso Vittorini (tenor saxophone)
Tracks 2, 3:
  • Herb Bushler (bass)
  • Jack DeJohnette (drums)
  • John Abercrombie (electric guitar)
  • Ray Armando, Warren Smith (percussion)
  • David Horowitz (piano, electric piano, synthesizer)
Tracks 4, 5, 6:
  • Rodolfo Mederos (bandeon)
  • "El Negro" Gonzales (double bass)
  • Nestor Astarita (drums)
  • Ricardo Lew (electric guitar)
  • "El Chino" Rossi (percussion)
  • Finito Ginbert (tenor saxophone, flute)
  • Matias Pizzarro (piano)
All tracks:
  • Enrico Rava (composer,  trumpet)
Download (192 kbps)

Similar music on the blog:
Tanit: omonimo (Classico, 1992)
Spirale: omonimo (King, 1974)