COMPOSERS: Giorgio Occhipinti,Hereo Nonetto
LABELS: Leo Lab
WORKS: The Kaos Legend
PERFORMER: Giorgio Occhipinti (p); Alberto Mandarini (tpt, flug); Lauro Rosso (tb); Gianni Gebbia/Eugenio Colombo (ss, as); Carlo Actis Dato (b cl, bar s); Renato Geremia (vn); Giovanni Maccioci (cello); Giuseppe Guarrella (b); Vincenzo Mazzone (d, kettle-d)
CATALOGUE NO: CD 012
If further proof were needed, after the efforts of Norway’s Jan Garbarek, the UK’s John Surman and many others, that jazz can be filtered through indigenous musics to both traditions’ advantage, this extraordinary album provides it in spadefuls. Leading a nonet including many of Italy’s most accomplished jazz musicians, Giorgio Occhipinti has produced an astonishing amalgam of jazz both straight ahead and free, European classical and avant-garde contemporary music.
Sicilian folk and Italian opera without either a hint of contrivance or a whiff of arbitrary eclecticism. Although it is the imaginative exuberance of the four compositions which instantly impresses, with echoes of everything from Mingusian rumbustiousness through Stravinsky to limpid folk themes, it is their overall coherence and the balance between structure and freedom (not to say wildness) which richly rewards repeated listening.
For variety of mood and texture, and for sheer unrestrained virtuosity, these dark yet life-affirming musical meditations are hard to beat, and should establish Occhipinti as a considerable force in contemporary music. Chris Parker