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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

The Italian Job @ The Black Swan November 29

Tommaso Starace Sax, John Turville piano, Al Swainger bass, and Chris Nickolls drums
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
This was a marvelously constructed gig: each tune played was inspired by a photograph made by the great Italian photographer Gianni Berengo Gardin. The black and white images of scenes from Italian life were projected onto a screen to one side of the stage. The quartet really managed to musically illustrate the feelings that the images portrayed. For example, the light feel of the soprano saxophone on The Bubble Vendor perfectly captured the feel of the bubbles soaring into the 1960’s Venetian sky. My own particular favourite photograph of the evening, Motion In Stillness, depicts a severe looking priest in Milan (1950) juxtaposed with a blurred spinning roundabout populated by young children enjoying themselves with gay abandon.

All the songs played were originals, apart from the most beautiful interpretation of Ravel’s Adagio Assai from Piano Concerto in G MajorThe accompanying photograph was one of Gardin’s most iconic - shot from above, a single woman dressed in black walks across a snow covered St Marks Square, whilst hundreds of pigeons flying below provide further contrast with the almost deserted square.
Most of the music the quartet played was melodic straight-ahead jazz of a fairly even tempo, however,

both sets ended with two fast and furious pieces, which to be honest, I personally could have done with more of. The first set concluded with Jamme (1978) depicting two adults and a child on a single scooter in the streets of Naples, and the band really seemed to let go encapsulating the feel, wildness and joy of the Italian south. Back To My Roots (1958,) a picture of a swirling Tuscan landscape, saw the band really take it out and concluded a perfectly fabulous and rewarding evening.

Steve H.   

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

The interpretation of Adagio Assai was probably the best piece, nice slow and well connected to the image of pigeons flying near.

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