The neo-noir textures of Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava's fine ECM release, NEW YORK DAYS, recall evocative, jazz-based film scores such as Gato Barbieri's LAST TANGO IN PARIS or Miles Davis's ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS. Joined by a stellar cast, including the fine pianist Stefano Bollani, contemporary tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, and the apparently ageless Paul Motian on drums, Rava conjures a rain-soaked, black-and-white urban fantasia on a finely produced, 77-minute set of moody originals. Rava, Turner, and Bollani are all strong stylists, however, so there is little danger of their being fully submerged in the impressionistic dark waters. At times, the sound resembles the post-bop chamber jazz of Miles's celebrated '60s quintet, at others, the upscale European strains of film composer Nino Rota or tango master Astor Piazzolla. Either way, NEW YORK DAYS is one of the outstanding jazz releases of 2009.
AllMusic Review by Richard Mortifoglio