Gabriele Mirabassi

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Clarinetist Gabriele Mirabassi investigates the late 19th century Brazilian music genre known as choro, along with what might appear to be an unorthodox blend of instrumentation. Here, mandolinist Patrick Vaillant, accordionist Luciano Biondini, and tubaist Michel Godard assist the leader with his plight, featuring songs by composers, Ernesto Nazareth, Pixinguinha, and Jacob do Bandolim. Otherwise, this musical format shares similarities with the standard jazz vernacular, via its inherent improvisational forms and rapid shifts in strategies. Mirabassi's vision contains quite a bit of these attributes amid the soloists' contrasting interactions and odd-metered rhythmic forays. Essentially, the leader of this date offers a contemporary vibe. And while the individual musicians receive plenty of breathing room, it's the overriding sense of movement coupled with lush melodies and the air of romanticism that shines forth.

The quartet maintains a loose vibe to complement its precision-oriented approach and festive outlook. After all, choro signifies a dance-based idiom, constructed upon African and Brazilian rhythmic foundations, although Mirabassi's percussion-less program does not nullify choro's innate characteristics. In sum, this recording looms as a rather upbeat musical celebration that leaves an indelible impression, while also furthering the concepts of contemporary jazz frameworks.

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