Riccardo Fassi


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The second outing by the Riccardo Fassi Tankio Band is, like its predecessor, one of ordered composition, sonic discoveries in color, and tonal equations heretofore considered verböten for large ensembles, and an attempt to radically juxtapose different elements in contrapuntal dialogue with harmonic realism. Fassi is able to write, lead, arrange, and play piano in such an ensemble because he has employed some of the hottest players in Italian jazz to work with him. To name a few of these illustrious souls: Tuba giant Massimo Pirone, Francesco Puglisi on acoustic bass, Alfredo Minotti on percussion, guitarist Fabio Zeppetella, and guests such as Flavio Boltro on trumpet. Notable tracks here -- and their stunning moments -- include the section on "Anfibi," where, after a lyrical opening, improvisation by saxophonist Sandro Satta allows his lyricism to give way to a completely serial destruction of dodecaphony. In "Radio Tunisi," West African melodic and compositional schematics ride the bridge of European rhythms and counterpoint. And then there's the out-and-out jamming in knotty turns and twists in "Dioniso" that stokes itself on the solos of Satta and Zeppetella. This is an encounter with big band music, Italian-style. There are no easy answers here, but they are all pleasurable and elegant, making this volume in the Tankio Band's legacy as necessary as the first.

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