Tomorrow Night Gig

Carlo Actis Dato

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Tomorrow Night Gig Review

by François Couture

This is a rather strange release, one that could prompt a few jazz critics to threaten to put Carlo Actis Dato in the same category as Eugene Chadbourne. Strike one: Sound quality on Tomorrow Night Gig is somehow hollow, subpar with other Leo releases. Strike two: At times this trio feels like it values kidding around over musicianship. Ideas are thrown in and out vigorously and don't always make sense. If these elements sound negative, on the other hand the album salvages what surely was an exciting evening, completely over the top, including an enthusiastic hooting audience. The Italian saxophonist is joined by Japanese bassist Yasuhiko Tachibana and violinist Keisuke Ohta. The latter brings to the trio the strangest note, what with his fake-Arabic singing and his violin effects (reverb, volume pedal, even distortion in "Ile de Gorèe"). As with Chadbourne, one is often tempted to sneer at incoherent-sounding passages and odd mishaps, unless they are intentional. Take "Saharawi," for instance: a solid groove worthy of a dervish dance, but in the first minutes the bass seems to have issues with the beat -- something screaming amateurishness. And yet elsewhere Tachibana accomplishes marvelous things. So why keep the piece (it's obvious this is not the whole concert, edits have been made, improvisations fade in and out)? Above it all reigns Actis Dato's original spirit and sense of fun ("Red" is calypso), linking this release to his fantastic solo Moonwalker. Puzzling and impassioned.

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