Mario Schiano

De Dé

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This is another fine date in Mario Schiano's deeply slung bag of atonal tricks. This date, an improv suite with various attachments, features our fearless Italian leader coming to arms with a quartet whose members carry with them not only most of the instruments in the orchestra, but an arsenal of noisemakers and percussion instruments and an endless round of techniques for wreaking the most sonic havoc. Once again, in the interest of all things fair and airy, Schiano understands, like literally no one else, the uses of atonality within improvisation. It is not to deaden feeling or to bury it under the weight of intellectual concern or pamper or thwart it in the cause of theoretical argument. For Schiano, and for his collaborators here (the most notable being Bruno Tommaso, a longtime companion), all tonalities and all engagements with harmony are manipulated to one purpose, the transference of emotion from the player to the listener, and in most cases from player to player. It seems that the Italians understand this better than anyone, and Schiano has taught them well. Schiano always looks for the lyric element in any investigation; he understands that the heart of music itself has many faces but, to him, all of them -- no matter how vocal or violent -- come from the terrain of tenderness. As these drums and basses clash with one another, or Schiano bleats in agony over synth or tries to sing with a prepared piano, it's very important to note how elegant the methodology is, how restrained the tempers are even in the heat of improvisation. De Dé is among the most beautiful, haunting, disquieting, and yes, tender improvisations Schiano has ever recorded; it is a dissonant masterpiece because it doesn't care for dissonance so much as it does for honest communication and emotional transference. Perhaps only his Blue Memories album conveys this more. And then again, this may be the one that does it best. In any event, this is not an album to be without if you care about the new jazz.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 20:41
2 2:55
3 4:33
4 3:55
5 5:14
6 3:05
7 2:09
8 1:50
9 4:24
10 1:53
11 1:04
blue highlight denotes track pick