Spectacular in conception, this unique inaugural recording of a live performance of Roberto Bonati's magnificent and majestic composition captures his extraordinary ability to meld the old and new. Bonati reaches back to musical sources of the Middle Ages in formulating his roots. By melding a modern jazz orchestra featuring some of Italy's best improvisers -- including the multi-talented Renato Geremia, soprano saxophonist and flutist Riccardo Luppi, and pianist Stefano Battaglia -- with a Gregorian choir, Bonati achieves a remarkable and inspiring synthesis. This is beautiful and serious music that succeeds on almost every level, and never succumbs to commercial considerations. While Bonati does not perform any instrument, and his role is that of composer and conductor, his presence is omnipresent, as his writing is in effect his tool. The more than 30 participants in this project performing the 14 separate pieces achieve a level of historical and artistic mastery rivaling the best of the classical and jazz traditions.
AllMusic Review by Steve Loewy