Actis Band

Garibaldi

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AllMusic Review by

Carlo Actis Dato is a fantastic saxophonist and bass clarinetist, an exquisite improviser, a witty soloist, and an all-around provocative yet entertaining (or provocative because he's entertaining) jazzman. What listeners didn't know yet is that he can rock and funk out too! Garibaldi, credited to the Actis Band, is one mean platter of jazz-funk as seen through the lenses of Italian avant-garde jazz. Actis Dato and Massimo Rossi form the horn section and are backed by guitarist Antonio Fontana, bassist (both acoustic and electric) Federico Marchesano, and drummer Dario Bruna. They form a tightly knit group that sounds like a cross between Pino Minafra's Sud Ensemble and the avant rock of young Italian mavericks like Bz Bz Ueu and Zu. Actis Dato's tunes have catchy harmolodic themes, pockets of improvisation to blow some steam, and complex polyrhythms. But most of all it grooves. "Vulcano Boro" kicks things off with a twisted police show-type riff capped by one of the maddest baritone sax solos the man has committed to tape. "Porci Padani" pairs a theme inspired by Mediterranean folk and a high-speed third wave ska romp. And "Taihenda" hints at the avant-prog rock of both early Palinckx and Forever Einstein -- plus it lets Fontana really stretch out. This album may take a few Actis Dato fans by surprise, but it's all for the better. And for those looking for an accessible gateway to his fabulous playing, search no more! A must-have.

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