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ENRICO RAVA - Pupa O Crisalide LP

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A body of evocative recordings included in Pupa O Crisalide with three different line-ups for this fantastic album by Enrico Rava which, thanks to Dialogo Records, finally sees the light for jazz lovers. Enrico Rava was the first Italian jazz artist to represent the country internationally, born in Trieste in 1939. A border city with a long history as part of Austria, an important port on the Adriatic see, a places influenced by different cultures. Rava's music at its best is a product of this city - a mix of Central European and Italian culture.

 

'Pupa o Crisalide' is one of the most interesting works in Enrico's discography. It is a good summary of the first phase of his solo career, and contains tracks recorded with three different line-ups: an all-Italian line-up for the opener "Pupa O Crisalide" and the closer "Giromondo", recorded in Rome with Giovanni Tommaso, Bruno Biriaco, Franco D'Andrea, Michele Ascolese, Mandrake and Tommaso Vittorini - an Argentinian octet for the B-side of the LP, recorded in Buenos Aires, and finally an impressive American septet with Jack DeJohnette and John Abercrombie, to name a few 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 at the time. The second is more placid, elegantly incorporating some Latin/samba elements into the alchemy.

The two halves are held together by the similarity in timbre of the line-ups (which feature almost the same elements), and Enrico Rava's renowned trumpet style. Often compared to Miles Davis and Kenny Wheeler, his technique involves rarefied notes, full of atmosphere, and erratic melodic lines that surprisingly do not undermine the 'presence' of his trumpet sound. On the contrary, the charisma of Rava's trumpet seems to emerge precisely from this surprising balance of detachment and red blood.