Enrico Rava: Noir

COMPOSERS: Enrico Rava
LABELS: Label Bleu
PERFORMER: Enrico Rava (tpt); Domenico Caliri, Roberto Cecchetto (el-g); Maier Giovanni Girolamo (b); Umberto Trombetta (d); Stefano di Battista (sax)
CATALOGUE NO: LBLC 6595 (distr. New Note)


Fittingly for a man born in the cosmopolitan city of Trieste, trumpeter Enrico Rava is as at home with formal music as with abstraction, and with straight-ahead jazz as with cutting-edge contemporary developments.

Fronting a heavily rock-influenced, twin-guitar band here, he touches musical bases ranging from woozy tangos through floating, freeish pieces to relatively straightforward jazz and multi-textured jazz-rock in an album programmed as a species of ‘soundtrack’ to an accompanying cartoon booklet drawn by Francesco Tullio Altan.

The comic – in French – tells a somewhat seedy story involving garbage collectors, jazz clubs, murder and mistaken identity, so the range of music Rava has composed conjures up everything from bustling low-life bars through amnesiac episodes to trial scenes. But the album coheres courtesy both of Rava’s unassuming virtuosity and his band’s unselfconscious versatility.


Noir may not reach the sublime heights of Rava’s mid-Seventies ECM work, but it is still a consistently intriguing album. CP