‘Hot music’ is a singularly appropriate description of this vibrant, intelligently varied set of compositions by pianist Arrigo Cappelletti and his lively, responsive quintet, the themes of some of which can sound almost like relatively straightforward hard bop until various rhythmic and textural complexities become apparent in the solo and group explorations to which they give rise.
Pieces such as the springy, perky opener, ‘Dedicato a Shorter’, and subsequent cuts like ‘Facile’ and ‘Breaks 1’ and ‘Breaks 2’, for instance, begin in uncomplicated, buoyantly boppish, brisk mode, but reveal more subtle complexities courtesy of the thoughtful contributions of soprano/tenor saxophonist Giulio Martino and trumpeter Sergio Orlandi.
Conversely, a piece like ‘Isafyordur 1’ begins with arco bass and rubato piano musings then develops, via a free-ish swirl of tenor and muted trumpet, into an intriguing collective exploration of Cappelletti’s multi-hued theme; ‘Tanghedia’ slowly coalesces into the taut nerviness suggested by its title; Carla Bley’s ‘Intermission Music’ gradually infuses the great American’s characteristically graceful, witty theme with slow-building energy, cleverly stoked by the top-notch rhythm team of bassist Adrian Myrh and drummer Tore Sandbakken.
Leo Records may be (justly) celebrated as the home of more overtly experimental music than this, but it also provides a welcome berth for some great comparatively straightahead music drawing, as Hot Music does, on the textures and timbres of freely improvised jazz, and Cappelletti’s quintet are skilful exponents of this vigorous but considered style.
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