Roberto Ottaviano

Otto

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This solo recording by the soprano saxophonist is one of the wonders of the world. It uses the straight horn without any benefit of electronic sounds -- though there is some looping -- as a sonic device. Ottaviano has experimented with the soprano for over 25 years; on this recording, in addition to plying his moving and lively compositions -- such as the different scalar studies around one four-note melody that drifts in and out of "Pervious," "Perhaps," "Perky," and "Perceptible" -- there are improvisational investigations into how far he can extend the horn's reach. There are moments when the listener would swear she is listening to a didgeridoo or a flute. There are other moments when gurgling and rumbling sounds become percussive and polyrhythmic. And still there are others where Ottaviano's naturally gorgeous tone on the instrument is allowed to shine through and sing as if he were a bird, a morning dove longingly crooning for his mate. This is a very intimate and special album of acoustically created musical soundscapes. It should be treasured along with Steve Lacy's Only Monk and Roscoe Mitchell's "S-II Examples" as the epitome of the living art on the horn.

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