Stefano Battaglia Theatrum

Mut(e)azioni I-XV

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For all their promise, the four groups led by talented Italian pianist Stefano Battaglia on this project leave the impression that more could have been accomplished. Ranging from trio to quintet, the groups explore sounds over the course of 15 sketches composed by the leader. The music is sometimes challenging, but just as often drifts without apparent focus, the solos by the horns poking in and out between composed structures. Battaglia is by far the strongest improviser, and here, as elsewhere, he shows a commanding presence on piano. The pianist places interesting combinations of instruments together (clarinet-piano-bass, trumpet-piano-drums, two soprano saxes and three percussion, and trumpet-tenor sax plus rhythm), but, for the most part, the results do not always justify the effort.

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