Gianni Basso

For Lars Gullin (Swedish Genius) Vol. 1

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The late Lars Gullin, a talented Swedish baritone saxophonist who died prematurely in 1976, is the focus of this tribute by Italian tenor saxophonist Gianni Basso. Basso explores nine of Gullin's compositions, plus three alternate takes and a traditional Swedish folk song, and has a cool, lyrical sound reminiscent of Gullin without resorting to transferring a carbon copy-like approach to his instrument. Most of the arrangements are fairly laid-back, except for the brisk bop number "Peter of April." Pianist Andrea Pozza, bassist Luciano Milanese, and drummer Massimo Manzi provide strong support for the leader. Renato Sellani takes over the piano for both duets of "Dedicato Per Renato Sellani," a gorgeous ballad dedicated to him by Gullin. The recordings of Basso, like Gullin, are worthy of wider recognition, as is this warm salute to a musician who died far too young.

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