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Enrico Fazio Septet
Zapping (a recycling project)

Leo CD LR372
Jazzwise rating: ••••

Enrico Fazio (b), Francesco Aroni Vigone (as, ss), Carlo Actis Dato (ts, bs, bcl), Alberto Mandarini (t, flhn – tracks 5, 6, 9 only), Fabrizio Bosso (t, flhn – tracks 1, 2, 3 ,4, 7, 8 only), Gianpiero Malfatto (tb, tba, f), Angelina Perrotta (v, el. v, vla, P. ky), Fiorenzo Sordini (d, perc, mar, balafon). Rec. tracks 5, 8 & 9 on 17/18 June 2001 and remain on 29/30 April 2002.
The ‘recycling’ in the title denotes the conscious compositional decisions made by Fazio to utilise a range of influences, forms and ideas from Bach to Scott Joplin to Coltrane and to borrow magpie-like from rock, world and film music. There is much to admire here. Carlo Actis Dato is the only player familiar to me but others such as Malfatto and Sordini are certainly his equal. And Fazio is an astute composer/arranger who deploys his troops with military precision. Listen to Perrotta’s violin in the ensemble on ‘Kitsch’, the album’s centrepiece and one of two standout tracks. Falling in with the horns behind Dato’s energetic baritone, it changes and enriches the tone colours subtly. And there’s somethíng Zappa-like about ‘Igor’. ‘Aria Pura’ opens operatically before the marimba enters and it breaks out of La Scala and heads out for the Serengeti. The trombone introduces ‘Libellula Obesa’ before a parade of the heavyweights from Malfatto on tuba and Dato on baritone. ‘In Vino Veritas’ is the other standout. A veritable global tour-deforce drawing on Europe’s classical heritage, on Africa for the roots of this music and on America for their synthesis in the birth of jazz. Fazio even finds room for a snatch of the ‘Banana Boat Song’. Tremendous Stuff.

Duncan Heining