Giulio Visibelli

Senza Parole

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The deep lyrical tradition inherent in modern Italian jazz is brought into close focus on this set, played by a quartet led by saxophone and flute maestro Giulio Visibelli. His warm, deeply emotional tone and lyrical style reflect many years of listening to soprano players from Jimmy Giuffre to Grover Washington, Jr. to John Coltrane. The lush harmonic textures put forth by this quartet on a set of all Italian material center around very complex, non-idiomatic melodic figures. Melodies are not without their sideways glances, it turns out, and most of these constructs are created first by guitarist Sandro Gibellini who offers color and nuanced counterpoint to most lyric lines before filling them with a shaded tonal atmosphere by creating and dissembling arpeggiated scalar notions in the center of the rhythmic invention. The sweet, winging lilt of the front line matches a kind of off-kilter rhythmic parlance by bassist Franco Testa and drummer Mario Beggio. This does not mean that this quartet is incapable of taking their groove outside because they do often enough here. It does mean, however, that their restraint is practiced and purposeful, allowing melodic invention to dictate its own improvisation according to the dictates of harmony rather than a musical idea for its own sake. There are no standout tracks here because they all stand out. Each tune is its own musical universe with a different set of tropes and intervallic constructions that are both deeply satisfying jazz and deliciously beguiling.

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