Mauro Negri


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The prototype for the modern sax-drums duo is unquestionably Coltrane/Ali, and their influence clearly affects this live session featuring Mauro Negri on alto sax and Zlatko Kaucic on percussion. There are other factors at work here, too, as world musics and Eastern European sonorities interject a unique and exciting sound. Negri proves himself a versatile performer, as he is as comfortable with soft, lovely, simple melodies as he is with complex hard bop rhythms. He squeezes and pinches tones from the clarinet, on which he is most effective, and burns hard over the incendiary drumming of Kaucic. Neither repeats historical patterns, but instead they appear to stalk new territory, incorporating a diverse musical amalgam that never quite veers too far outside established tonalities. They freely improvise, conscious of traditional constraints, yet at ease with exploring alternative landscapes. The duo forms a synergistic whole that seems more than just two, without overdubbing.