Enrico Rava Quintet – Tribe
(ECM 276 6970. CD Review by Chris Parker)
Since returning to ECM in 2003, the great Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava has made a series of superb recordings with both international bands (2009’s New York Days with Paul Motian et al. a prime example) and home-grown units. On this album, he leads the latter, comprising one of his most sympathetic front-line associates, trombonist Gianluca Petrella, and a suitably sensitive but strong rhythm section, pianist Giovanni Guidi, bassist Gabriele Evangelista and drummer Fabrizio Sferra.
The material is a mix of old (‘F. Express’, ‘Amnesia’, ‘Garbage Can Blues’ etc.) and new, and mines the familiar ECM mother lodes of rubato musing, freeish improvisation and deceptively gentle, ruminative ‘time’ pieces,but whatever the mode, Rava’s band (two of whom, Guidi and Evangelista, are in their twenties) play with the robust delicacy laced with wit and elegance demanded by his graceful, insinuating themes.
Petrella and Rava, as might be expected by anyone who’s heard the 2007 Rava recording, The Words and the Days, are a peerless combination, but it is Rava’s ravishing lyricism, his pure, burnished tone infused with both warmth and a hint of human vulnerability, that makes this consistently absorbing, musicianly album so special.