The great Italian mischief makers Gianluigi Trovesi and Gianni Coscia -- playing clarinets and accordion, respectively -- are back with more of their irreverent, genre-dissolving duets. Listeners were last surprised and often delighted by them in 1999 when the duo issued In Cerca di Cibo on ECM, a release featuring liner notes by none other than the great novelist, linguist, and cultural theoretician Umberto Eco. One can guess by the title what the duo's on about this time. Using the great composer's wonderful score to The City of Mahagonny as a framework, they lyrically and provocatively reinterpret Weill through the disparate veils of jazz, Italian folk styles, and vanguard and formal classical musics. Weill is clearly a starting point, and his pieces are played if not with reverence then at least with great zeal as well as technique and harmonic invention. There are a number of original improvisations and other tunes interspersed in the sequence as well, giving the entire proceeding a dreamy, nostalgic, street fair feel, where Weill's cabaret-loving ghost is evoked, dressed in party clothes, and celebrated and toasted by our two instrument-wielding perpetrators. Once more, Eco drops in with his pen for the enlightenment of those who are scratching their heads, but his text asks as many questions as it answers -- much like the delightful, humorous, and gorgeously performed music here. Round About Weill is all but unclassifiable, except in terms of its excellence.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek