Marco Cocconi


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For many, the primary appeals of this recording will be the attractively off-center melodies composed by Cocconi and the slippery reed playing of Mauro Negri. The five-piece Italian group, with its somewhat unusual instrumentation of two guitars, piano, drums, and clarinet, sounds relaxed and confident as it winds its way through the maze of Cocconi's tunes. Cocconi is a bass guitarist, of modest ambition, who performs solo on one tune, and elsewhere as part of the group. Negri effectively slinks around the strings on both his clarinet and bass clarinet, and perhaps a tad less convincingly on his alto sax. He adds warmth through the clarinets that easily complements Cocconi's basslines. Not all the pieces are as compelling as, for example, the balanced opener ("Taras Bulba"), though the ones that are work well. Roberto Soggetti's refreshing lines on the Rhodes electric piano (as well as acoustic piano) hardly break any ground, but they punch firmly and confidently, rarely sounding dated.