Guido Mazzon / Umberto Petrin

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For a relatively small country, the Italians have produced a disproportionate number of outstanding jazz performers. What makes this release so attractive is the way in which the trio of trumpeter Mazzon, co-leader pianist Umberto Petrin, and percussionist Tiziano Tononi - all three of the major players in the country - focus on slower, softer, and more spacious themes, without sacrificing tension or creativity. The trumpeter's sound hearkens to an earlier era, his big, juicy tone filled with splattered sound. Petrin is simply one of the best pianists anywhere, both as an accompanist and soloist. He uses traditional technique with exquisite note placement. Tononi, one of the powerhouses of Italian percussionists, is so effective because of his emphasis on colors and feel. Together, the trio navigates cautiously, ending with a beautiful take of Ornette's "Lonely Woman."

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