Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Transition – At Mibnight Jazz Festival

For the next few days, I’m going to turn my attention to new Italian jazz, specifically several new releases from the Setola di Maiale label of drummer Stefano Giust. Solos, duos, trios and a quintet are all represented, along with a variety of approaches from through-composed music to totally free. 

At Mibnight Jazz Festival 

Nils Gerold - Flute
Nicola Guazzaloca - Piano
Stefano Giust - Drums 

First up is a live recording from the 2012 Mibnight Jazz Festival in Bremen, Germany from the trio known as Transition. This is another great release from them, following their self-titled record, which I reviewed previously

With a lineup of flute, piano and drums, one might expect a pastoral approach, but that’s hardly the case. The trio generates plenty of heat, with the interaction between Guazzaloca and Giust recalling the epic battles of Cecil Taylor and Tony Oxley. Nils Gerold is pushing the boundaries of the flute as an improvising instrument, and he deserves to be mentioned alongside Nicole Mitchell as one of the top flautists in today’s music. 

Within the three pieces, which sound completely improvised, the group exhibits great range, “transitioning” if you will from terse exchanges to very dense passages. The live sound is crisp and clear, and with the absence of audience noise, Mibnight sounds very close to a studio recording.

Definitely one to seek out if you’re a fan of free improv or the flute in new music.

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