This release from DDQ (an Italian subsidiary of Black Saint/Soul Note) features seven Italian musicians who are not known in the U.S. Stefano Maltese (heard on alto, soprano and flute) composed and arranged all seven of the selections on the CD, which is an episodic, colorful, thoroughly unpredictable and strangely haunting affair. The utilization of Gioconda Cilio's often wordless voice (she also sings lyrics in Italian and English) and violinist Michele Conti (who occasionally plays viola and mandola) add distinctive tones to the group's sound. In fact, although there are many concise individual solos (including from trumpeter Roy Paci and trombonist Rosario Patania), it is the sound of the ensemble as a whole that is most notable. The music goes through a wide range of emotions, from mournful to humorous (particularly "Lions at Coffee House"), wistful to exuberant. The results are tonal, occasionally swinging and full of surprises. An intriguing set.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow