Rino Vernizzi

Baby Boom

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A self-taught bassoonist who is just as comfortable with jazz as with classical music, Rino Vernizzi leads a solid quartet through 11 original twisting pieces that bear repeated listening. Jazz bassoonists are a rarity, but Vernizzi never devolves to the level of novelty. Rather, by inviting soprano saxophonist Mauro Zazzarini to the front line, the bassoonist develops a unique harmonic structure. Backed only by bass and drums, the two horns weave in and out, never missing the anchor of the piano. This is difficult music to perform, as the complex rhythmic leaps coupled with continually changing melodic lines combine to create memorable moments of intense beauty. Zazzarini is a powerful saxophonist, with an advanced sense of improvisational openness. He never sits still, instead enjoying the difficult turns in the harmonies. Bassist Gianluca Renzi proves himself a formidable partner, too, with a good pair of ears, while drummer Giampaolo Ascolese spurs the quartet forward with propulsive thrusts.

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