This seemingly disparate collection of collaborations with Italian percussionist Andrea Centazzo is tied together by a common geography and era, an eclectic, quality personnel, and universally high-class music. The first tracks on Thirty Years from Monday collect two very different musical conversations between Centazzo and electronics wizard Alvin Curran. "An Old Man River in the Georgia of My Mind" offers jazzy fun, as Curran spins some old-time religion on piano, with the percussionist perfectly in synch. The substantially longer "Mantric Improvisation" is a very different animal, sounding expansive and static with sounds filtered through two tape recorders, almost as though an entire choir of drunken voices were singing lazily. Toward the end, the talented Curran pulls out his trumpet, fulfilling the charge. Evidently, these two tracks are the only remaining ones from a successful live concert in Udine, Italy in 1977, and they are the earliest of the tracks on the 12-CD Ictus Records 30th Anniversary Collection set, of which this album is part. These two tracks are followed by "The Gypsy Part One" and "The Gypsy Part II," two electrifying duos between Centazzo and Carlos Zingaro, the consummate modern gypsy violinist. The two "Box Sessions" feature a raw and radical Lol Coxhill, the English soprano saxophonist who inspires Centazzo by pushing him to extremes, leading to some very loud and exciting drumming that is some of the percussionist's best work on the disc. Those who know Coxhill from his later work may be surprised at how straight he sounds at times, and by the strong volume that he achieves. The album ends with two free and introspective improvisations by Centazzo and Italian reed player Gianluigi Trovesi. Recorded in the same month as the duets with Coxhill, "Trovecen #1" exhibits dynamic, expressive statements from Centazzo, whose drumming is filled with euphoria. The closing piece, another duet between Centazzo and Trovesi, exhibits an ambient, Oriental influence, with Centazzo keeping the rhythms flowing while Trovesi's flute adds a mystical element. At first blush, this collection of collaborations led by Andrea Centazzo may appear to be a hodgepodge, but it is tied together by a common geography and era, an eclectic, quality personnel, and some universally high-class music.
AllMusic Review by Steve Loewy