Giovanni Mirabassi

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At first blush, the combination of trumpet, trombone, and piano would appear to be an oddball combination for a small jazz group. Strangely, though, this trio's remarkably delicate yet potent sound is so full that you don't even realize that the string bass and drums are missing. Much of the credit belongs, naturally, to pianist Giovanni Mirabassi, whose themes, from the catchy opener "Lili Est La" to the gorgeous "Behind the White Door" to the just slightly offbeat "Les Oiseaux de Passage," are focused on pure sound in a lightly swinging oeuvre that is dreamily, even hypnotically appealing, without compromising its artistic viability. The success of the recording is in part a product of the two horns, Flavio Boltro, one of Italy's finest jazz musicians and arguably its most lyrical trumpeter, and expat Glenn Ferris, whose patented soft and focused sound on the trombone might, in terms of its purity alone, remind the listener of the musings of Chet Baker. This is music to relax to, but it is also challenging and poignant. And that is its wonder: there is a simple, though not simplistic, compatibility among the three, leading to a wondrous product that sings with a marvelous fragility. The trio is not out to impress but to lay down a beautiful carpet that integrates a modern jazz aesthetic with pure sound. That they succeed is a testimony to all three players, and especially Mirabassi, whose piano, romantic and ambiguous, is at the root.

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