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Bebop Spoken There

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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.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Album review: Dario Savino Doronzo - Reimagining Opera

Dario Savino Doronzo (flugelhorn); Pietro Gallo (piano); Michel Godard (serpent).

We don't get many serpents on BSH - an occasional snake perhaps - but I'm sure this is the first time we've had a real live serpent (well not actually live). Certainly it's the first time I've heard one played although, back in the day, when I'd make the occasional visit to the Boosey and Hawkes factory in Edgware I do recall seeing one in the company's museum.


As befits their size, they lurk in the bass end of the brass section, even though they are usually made of wood (I bet Carstairs Hallam has one tucked away in his attic!) So this a good excuse to listen to this album although I've never been a big fan of cross-genre projects or, in this case, as we used to call them, "jazzin' the classics".

However, apart from my curiosity re the serpent, my big attraction was the Intermezzo from Cav (Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana). This delightful piece has a lot of memories for me - don't ask! - and before I'd even heard the opening note I knew I was going to like it.

And I did! Those who remember Art Farmer's cool, frugal, flugel sound on Gerry Mulligan's 1963 album Night Lights will be pleased to know that Doronzo has that same wistful sound. It's a sound that gives you goosebumps. Lyrical, melodic, it's a long cool drink on a very warm night. 

On piano, Gallo is sympathetic and manages to merge his jazz head seamlessly with the material on offer. He's featured at length on Nessum Dorma from Puccini's opera Turandot.

As regards the serpent, it turns out to sound a bit like a French horn crossed with a euphonium  and the duet between serpent and flugel on Fruccia d'ali is quite magical. Look out for him in the Miscellaneous Instrument category of the next DownBeat Poll - he's guaranteed my vote!

My only small reservation in what is essentially a beautiful album is that I'd have liked to have heard a couple of more extrovert numbers such as The Toreador Song from Carmen or The Soldiers' Chorus from Faust. But, then again, that mellifluous sound would be lost unless they were transformed into ballads. Would it work? I don't know, try singing them ...
Lance

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