Giancarlo Schiaffini

L' Anello Mancante (The Missing Chainring)

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The brilliant Italian Giancarlo Schiaffini surprises with this sophisticated, abstract concert of trombone and electronics. Carefully listening to capture the delicate rhythms and often spacy environments, Schiaffini's fascinating display of technical wizardry utilizes advanced harmonies, slow tempos, and long tones to achieve glimpses of rapturous beauty. Each of the 13 pieces achieves a slightly different effect, with titles such as "Soft Nightmare," "Sweet Nightmare," and "Dungeon" setting the tone. This is deep listening music, the kind that requires concentrated effort, but the rewards are there. If it is a touch ponderous at times, there are others when the speed picks up and compensates. The trombonist's vast experiences with free improvisation and modern classical composition help to restrain him from embracing excesses. Instead, he focuses on nuance and color. The recording shows a side of the trombonist that is very different from his more popular and accessible work with the Italian Instabile Orchestra.