Allegro con Brio

The Atipico Trio

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Allegro con Brio Review

by François Couture

This CD presents Atipico Trio's third lineup in three albums; then again, since the group releases an album every six to eight years, that's something you come to expect. And as long as Carlo Actis Dato stays on board, the wild experiments and entertaining zaniness will remain key features. This time around, the mighty baritone sax and bass clarinet player joins forces with Piero Ponzo (alto sax and clarinet) and Beppe Di Filippo (soprano, alto, and tenor sax) -- Ponzo is a regular member of Dato's enduring quartet and was featured on Atipico Trio's first opus, while Di Filippo has often teamed up with both. All three musicians contribute pieces on this album, but Dato and Ponzo are the most prolific. The music is gloriously irreverent, skipping styles as if it were skipping rope: Mediterranean folk, swing-era jazz, South American grooves, and avant-garde jazz recipes are deconstructed and reassembled into an extravagant vaudeville in which wolves dance the tango, Klezmer melodies are heard at Baghdad parties, love songs are meant to make you howl in laughter ("Chantant l'Amour Bucolique"), and music and language lessons are delivered over the phone. All three musicians occasionally sing, talk, shout, and growl. The best feature of the music is found in the fact that all this craziness is very precisely scored, yet sounds genuinely spontaneous. From the mock-bombastic intentions of "Wolf Symphony N. 37" to the Balkan-like dance tunes "Slavinia" and "Balkanian Getchuppa," Atipico Trio never drop the ball. The tight track sequence concentrates the energy even more, making for an exhilarating listening experience. Either you love or hate the joie de vivre in Dato's music, and this album will not change your opinion.

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