Paolino Dalla Porta

La Ballata Di Domenica

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In addition to the original soundtrack to the Italian film Domenica, this recording includes several pieces inspired by the movie in which bassist Paolino Dalla Porta gently weaves his ensemble through some attractively fine-spun passages. There is a noir, moody quality to the music, which favors slow tempos and generally dreamy melodies that evoke dark images of atmospheric charm. Paul McCandless is a welcome addition on soprano sax, oboe, and bass clarinet, and while most of his playing highlights his patented delicate tone, he takes off his gloves for at least a couple of numbers and produces some of his finest and most aggressive recorded work. Another standout is Riccardo Luppi, who distinguishes himself with a range of fine solos. Dalla Porta's function is primarily that of composer and arranger, although he also provides a strong supporting role, taking only an occasional solo. The 12 pieces vary the instrumentation -- so, for example, "La Ballata di Domenica" is for solo accordion, while "Nopoli Stazione" is for sextet. By incorporating two saxes and accordion, Dalla Porta reinforces a light, airy sound without sacrificing quality. The film serves as an inspiration for, but is hardly critical to, the success of the music, which stands on its own. This is not among the most sophisticated jazz to come from Italy, but it is rendered lovingly and it makes for some attractive and pleasant listening.

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