Pietro Condorelli

Quasimodo

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There must be more jazz talent per capita in Italy than anywhere else in the world. There seems to be an almost unlimited number of gifted musicians who live there, playing in every style imaginable. This is guitarist Pietro Condorelli's third release as a leader, and for this one, he joins hard bop trumpeter Fabrizio Bosso on the front line for a set of mostly original tunes. When this group is "on," the results sparkle with crackling lines, tight harmonies, and tuneful expression. On the soft and slow pieces, such as "Evening Prayer," there are moments of quiet beauty. While the charts are smack in the middle of modern mainstream, Condorelli and his pianist, Francesco Nastro, take liberties with tempos in "No Blues (Ultras)," but this is an exception, not the rule. Condorelli is a fine improviser, with full command of his axe, a fluid concept, and a beautiful tone. Bosso is either tough or sensitive, depending on the moment, sometimes reminding the listener of Miles in the mid-'60s. While trumpet heads distinguish the group, with Condorelli easily substituting for the more common sax, the group sound is nonetheless dangerously derivative, meaning it comes close to sounding, for the most part, like many other good mainstream combos. For the most part, though, the music is well rehearsed and tight.

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