On this CD, the lyrical trumpeter Enrico Rava performs themes from Fellini movies, operas and classical music, along with three originals by band members. Despite its title, not all of the selections are taken at slower tempos, but there is an emphasis on memorable and haunting melodies. The results, which do not quite fit in as avant-garde or world music, are certainly jazz. Rava, guitarists Domenico Carliri and Roberto Cecchetto, and guest Richard Galliano on accordion get some individual improvisations, generally remaining within the mood of each piece while stretching its boundaries a bit. Barbara Casini's occasional vocals in Italian are a strong asset, and she comes across much closer to a bossa nova singer than to an opera star. Definitely an intriguing set.
Italian Ballads Review
by Scott Yanow