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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

CD Review: Claudio Scolari – Synthesis (CSMD05)


(Review by Wes.)
I can’t say that I’m particularly familiar with the Jazz scene in Rome and what’s happening there but if the new album “Synthesis” by Claudio Scolari, his son Simone and Daniele Cavalca is anything to go by then it sounds like it’s pretty healthy right now. This is certainly one of the more interesting CD’s that I have been given recently for review.

The album features 7 tracks in total and manages to very effectively fuse the instruments we would traditionally associate with Jazz such as Trumpet, Piano, Bass and Drums along with Electronics and the lovely organic sound of the Melodica, there’s even some Vibraphone and Flute in there for good measure. I’ve always been a big fan of the Melodica and to hear it within a swinging modern Jazz context is really refreshing and helps to elevate this album, to bring it into it’s own and give the music it’s own sense of identity.
Like the best Jazz albums “Synthesis” seems to balance very accordingly part composition and part improvisation to maintain both stability whilst retaining the playful and magical edge that comes with true reactionary improvised music. Similarly the artwork for the album whilst being by no means original does suit the recordings very well featuring a gathering of birds, some of which remain static and solid perched on a tree or telegraph wire whilst others fly free in the air, there is something very simple or should I say refined about this incredibly accomplished music and it’s presentation.
Stylistically there isn’t really a way to pin point what’s happening here which is part of the beauty, it’s modern and it’s most definitely Jazz!… and somewhere in their you’ll find slices of Be-Bop, Freeform, Classical and a distinctive Italian edge, there’s a warmth.
Track 5 “Fragments Of Autumn” for me stands out in particular, it has a great hook and flows so lovely with a great mesh of sounds to prick up your ears. The albums conclusion “Hymn of the Inventions” is also well worthy of a mention, a long ethereal trip built around the Melodica.
This album is released by Principal Records and you can find out more at www.claudioscolari.com
Wesley Stephenson

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