Square One

COMPOSERS: Davide Mantovani
LABELS: Stay Tuned
PERFORMER: Davide Mantovani (b), Gerry Hunt (ss, g, fl), Roger Beaujolais (vib, KAT midimallet), Steve Lodder (p, ky), Davide Giovanni (d), Kim Burton (acc), Wade Austin (steel pan), Cosimo Keita (d), Maurizio Ravalico (perc)
CATALOGUE NO: ST 002

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Square One is so named because it is Mantovani’s debut album, and it’s a very impressive beginning. His basic group is a quintet without any low brass instruments and so the general sound is lighter and airier than that of the Cohen band. Again there is much detail in the composing, much variety in the music, excellent musicianship and one or two echoes from the past.

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The opening piece ‘Promenade’ evokes the poetic spirit of Eberhard Weber’s music with its soprano sax lead and deft changes of pace. ‘Brotherly’ has an easy loping Latin rock feel and a catchy melody, with a big percussion outing and excellent solos from Beaujolais’s vibes and Hunt’s acoustic guitar. ‘Walking at Shiva’s Pace’ has a wonderfully slow and sparse rhythm and spare melody reminiscent of Zawinul, with a marvellous soprano solo by Gerry Hunt. Steve Lodder shines on the fast Latin ‘Beyond Fears’, and the rhythm section is excellent throughout.