Roberto Magris

Music of Today

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Recorded in 1990, this octet recording by composer, arranger, and pianist Roberto Magris offers a view of the new Italian jazz as a hotbed of vanguard activity that takes its cue from the hallmark of the new lyricism and expounds upon it to consider harmonic extensions to be the cornerstone of improvisation and composition. Utilizing a horn section of one trumpet, two saxophonists, and one trombonist in addition to piano, bass, vibes, and drums, Magris employs a group of mixed Europeans in charting his inner space where classical formalism meets post-hard bop jazz and free modalism on tracks such as "Restless Spirits" and striated harmonic figures on blues formalism in "Martin's Jump," as well as Gil Evans' tonal studies on "The Way Inside," where intervallic shifts and dropouts are created for various players to fill with improvised counterpoint and timbral elocutions of microharmonic linguistics. In all, Magris understands the underside of lyrical constructivism as one might understand how round a ball is when it rolls out of your hand onto the ground: he writes from the point of view of sound first and then individual instrumentation, taking a macro view of the tonal and lyrical picture, and he succeeds magnificently.

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