Shibui – All About Jazz – Agosto 2013 – Alberto Bazzurro

Torna dopo qualche anno di silenzio Enrico Fazio, già bassista dell’Art Studio e da venticinque anni validissimo leader in proprio. Torna, e fa un’altra volta centro, proprio come nel 1988 quando, con Mirabilia, evidenziò doti (compositivo-aggregative, soprattutto) che la lunga militanza nello storico gruppo torinese (nel quale era del resto entrato appena diciottenne) aveva in qualche modo celato (o forse accompagnato e forgiato).

Come allora – anche se per forza di cose senza lo stesso fulminante senso della scoperta – la musica di Fazio colpisce anzitutto per la sua solidità: concettuale, di scrittura ed esecutiva, di interazione fra parti corali e sortite solistiche. A tratti viene in mente Mingus, ma anche certe orchestre europee (perché il tiro dell’ottetto è indiscutibilmente orchestrale), soprattutto inglesi, con un occhio qua e là più mitteleuropeo.

Sul versante timbrico e per il ruolo giocato nelle improvvisazioni, preziosissima è la presenza del violino, che si distingue in svariati brani (“Tempus fugit,” “Pianoless,” “Shibui,” “Serendipity”) ed è, globalmente, voce-chiave della tavolozza messa a punto da Fazio. Ci sono poi fedelissimi della prima ora, sempre brillanti (da Alberto Mandarini, che proprio nei gruppi del bassista torinese iniziò a farsi conoscere, a Francesco Aroni Vigone, anche lui presente fin dai tempi di Mirabilia, allo stesso Fiorenzo Sordini, che era poi il batterista dell’Art Studio), o acquisizioni più recenti (su tutti Gianpiero Malfatto).

Grande rotondità e contemporanea, puntuale valorizzazione delle singole voci s’impongono fin dall’iniziale “Tempus fugit,” con gli assoli che mostrano per tutto il lavoro un’assoluta adesione stilistico-emotiva alla struttura (all’estetica) globale, dalla quale vengono spesso – per così dire – “fasciati”. C’è un preciso retrogusto gasliniano in “Serial Player” (che già il titolo…), tra le costruzioni più ingegnose del lotto, mentre è forse il successivo “Serendipity,” tornando a quanto detto poc’anzi, l’episodio in cui più palpabili appaiono le reminiscenze mingusiane.

Entrare oltre nei meandri dei singoli brani sarebbe in fondo sterile. Resta l’immagine di un album di grande spessore, uno di quei lavori che possono mettere d’accordo l’avanguardista e chi non sa rinunciare ai più saldi valori del jazz in quanto tale. Il che, come s’intuirà facilmente, non è cosa da poco.
Valutazione: 4 stelle


Shibui – Percorsi Musicali – July 2013 – by Ettore Garzia

Gil Evans and Charles Mingus died in the Mexican town of Cuernavaca. That circumstance is useful for to take account to two excellent figures of jazz that seem to draw “Shibui”, the last recording of the double bassist Enrico Fazio along with his band Critical Mass. Fazio is a musician that has always been in search of an instrumental global jazz, in which give priority to harmony and melody and enhance the ability of individual musicians at the same time. Also in this recording Fazio provides a value musical product, which has a strong point in the freshness of the musical solutions and in the emotional transport of the musicians of the band.*

A careful listening will reveal certain similarities but also new variations: in “Shibui” are evident orchestral strategies that were owned by Gil Evans and a strong sense of Mingus’s blues, but in hindsight, Fazio decides to take action with his visual (that of an efficient reconstructionist) transforming old sound sources into new identity of sound. In “Shibui” we can hear remnants of some anglosaxon jazz-blues idiom  (in “Effetti Collaterali” Enrico explicitly confirms, in the internal notes, that he has extrapolated his own rhythm from a song of the band Colosseum), or jazz rock accents that remember some evolutions of the sound of Canterbury (the long intro of “Shibui” takes us into one of those melodic “side-slipping” in style Hatfield and the North); Campioni’s violin remember us the similar use that Jean Luc Ponty did, but without electrification, while occasionally we front of unexpected ethnic scents (the turkish clarinet of “Pianoless” or the final percussive oriented-style “Tuttecose“).
So we must speak of osmotic effects, because in the end the result is an integrated cocktail of jazz, which belongs only to Fazio and his musicians: “Tempus fugit” builds a particular version of “Sister Sadie” arranged by Evans, as well as “Effetti Collaterali” seems a particular version of the deep and melodic song “Harvey’s Tune” (from Bloomfield-Kooper-Stills’s Superssions) which is focused on the rhythm and collective strength.

Zapping! – Jazz Hot – December 2003 – by Serge Baudot

Article is available only in French.

Enrico Fazio – Zapping
Guide CDs 2004/Chroniques – Spécial 2004 – Supplément disques au n° 606 – décembre 2003/janvier 2004

Sette, Wake Up, Walkabout, Ciao Jack, Kitsch, Igor, Aria pura, Libellula obesa, In vino veritas
Alberto Mandarini (tp, flh), Fabrizzio Bosso (tp, flh), Gianpiero Malfatto (tb, tba, fl), Angelina Perrotta (vln, clav), Francesco Aroni Vigone (s), Carlo Actis Dato (s, cl), Enrico Fazio (b), Florenzo Sordini (dm, perc) Enregistré les 17 et 18 juin 2001 et les 29 et 30 avril 2002 à Calliano (Italie) Durée : 1h 15’ 37’’ – Leo Records 372 (Orkhêstra International).
Enrico Fazio nous avertit : « J’ai pris des centaines d’exemples musicaux de nombreux styles de musiques et je les ai réutilisés hors de leur contexte en une sorte de zapping musical.
En même temps j’ai essayé de préserver mon propre style et l’unité du projet dans un équilibre entre compositions et improvisations.
« Disons-le tout de suite , aussi étrange que cela puisse paraître, le résultat est assez emballant.
L’ensemble fonctionne comme une fanfare, un brass-band, hommage à la tradition néoorléanaise, d’ailleurs le thème «Igor» est plus qu’un clin d’oeil au new-orleans, puisqu’il reprend «Tiger Rag» assez traditionnel, et le déstructure, le reconstruit dans un décalage décapant et enthousiasmant. Il ne s’agit pas de bricolage au sampler mais bien de compositions de Fazio, et son système, décrit assez précisément sur le livret, mérite qu’on s’y intéresse en ces temps de collages musicaux, car il semble bien qu’il y ait là une voie qui permette de s’exprimer. En fait peu importe la technique de création, ce qui compte c’est le résultat. Et ici il est de qualité. Certes le brassband est parfois un peu lourd rythmiquement, mais les solos sont si nombreux et si bons que ça passe bien. Ajoutons la présence de l’excellent Carlo Actis Dato qui ajoute son talent à l’ensemble comme par exemple, au sax ténor, sur «Walkabout», et à la clarinette basse sur « In vino veritas » qui représente un condensé de la mémoire musicale de Fazio. Les musiciens italiens font bouger le jazz depuis quelque temps.

Serge Baudot

Zapping! – EJazz News – August 2003 – Paul Donnelly


ENRICO FAZIO SEPTET : Zapping ! (Leo Records. LR 372)

I’d just been listening to Gianluigi Trovesi’s Ottetto and thinking what great jazz comes out of Italy when this appeared. The recording is sub-titled ‘a recycling project’ by which Fazio means he has sampled selections from many styles of music and re-used them out of context. Not sampled in the sense of merely lifted from one recording and spliced into another though. Whatever the method, the results are quite stunning. Although it says it’s a septet l’ve counted eight people here, playing trumpet, trombone, flute, various saxes, violin, bass and drums. And what they play is a vigorous, bustling collision of ideas and styles. Take ‘Walkabout` as an example, ably opened by Fazio’s agile bass, it revives shades of Monk and features exhilarating solos from Fabrizio Bosso on trumpet and Carlo Actis Dato on sax. But no matter how charged the soloing may be it is always integrated within the overall structure of each piece. There is plenty to take in ali the time. `Ciao Jack’ ‘recycles’ a traditional children’s song, ‘Frere Jacques’, and mainly features Gianpiero Malfatto’s flute giving it a somewhat wistful air. The theme is stated briefly at the close in a tumble of brass. There’s a further chance to spot the ‘recycled’ elements in “Kitsch”, a sort of homage to elements of Italian opera. I don’t know much about that but it certainly has all the swaggering brashness of a Mingus band on the rampage. It ends with a borrowing from Prokofiev and I’m certain that there are dozens of references I haven’t heard. That’s not really the point though because what Fazio’s arrangements do is seamlessly conjoin ali the diverse elements into a joyous celebration of genre. The Prokofiev quote crops up again at the start of ‘ Igor’ which unexpectedly explodes in a Dixie-ish way but also makes passing references to Stravinsky while finding space for a couple of excellent solos from Alberto Mandarini on trumpet/flugelhorn. Elsewhere there are references to Bach, snatches of film, cartoon and dance music rubbing shoulders with some of the most innovative and assured group playing l’ve heard. Perhaps the last word should go to the final track, ‘In Vino Veritas’, a 22 minute tour de force that begins percussively in Africa, takes in a litte Dolhy-esque bass clarinet – truly breath-taking, that is – shakes a híp a little at both Caribbean and Latin scenarios. Ravel and Morricone’s spaghetti westerns get a few bars to themselves too. And, of course, the variety of virtually the whole jazz tradition makes itself felt throughout. You get the picture ? Fazio calls it’a trip in my memory through some soundtracks of my fife’. That’s a fair description and should tempt anyone who wants to hear what is ostensibly a jazz octet tackle anything and everything which is placed at their disposal. A delight from start to finish.

Paul Donnelly

Zapping! – Fenêtre sur Jazz – September 2003 – by Thierry Flammant

Article is available only in French.

Enrico FAZIO Septet – Zapping ! (Leo Records).

Comme toutes les cultures, celle du contrebassiste italien Enrico Fazio ignore les frontières. Les accents baroques par lesquels s’ouvre son « Zapping !» en témoignent et la suite confirme ce qu’il a lui-meme intitulé un « recycling project ». It est question de mémoire et d’humour dans ce qu’on pourrait désigner comme une autobiographie musicale (Frère Jacques y cotoie Monk et Strauss ainsi que Pierre et le Loup…). La section de cuivres y est proprement impression nante, notamment le trombone et le sax baryton.
Enrico Fazio se situe dans le sillage de Carta Bley, Willem Breuker et Nino Rota. Ses compositions et arrangements. parviennent non seulement A associer dans une oeuvre cohérente des parcours musicaux épars et distants mais surtout A les faire converger dans un projet dont [a belle ossature ravira les amoureux de [‘exploration. Point West besoin de preter une oreille attentive pour parvenir A accrocher un accent, une phrase, quelques notes familières tant Fazio les a judicieusement dilués dans un -Zapping !” A la virtuosité jubilatoire (repérez donc Le Bon, le Brute et le Truand quelque part dans In Vino Veritas…). Ces citations qui Wen sont pas tout A fait ne sont pas seulement des clins d’oeil, ou des marques de respect mais des éléments constitutifs A [a fois d’une mémoire et d’une création qui semblent surgir au gré des souvenirs d’enfance et de voyages (Aria Pura). Chaque instrument est ici utilisé avec justesse. Aucun West ignore ni relégué (écoutez le beau tuba de Malfatto et les percus de Sordini), chacun trouve sa place avec sa spécificité, ses sons, l’infini de ses possibilités. Ce brassage fait de cet essai musical un bet hommage A la culture du jazz et dévoile A nouveau [a richesse vivifiante des Italiens.

Thierry Flammant

Zapping! – All About Jazz – July 2003 – by Glenn Astarita

Zapping! – Jazzman – June 2003

Article is available only in French.

ENRICO FAZIO – Zapping !

CHOC jazzman

Pour ce recycling project, le contrebassiste Enrico Fazio se sert de dizaines d’extraits musicaux hors contexte, dans des cadences, des assemblages, des couleurs et des rythmes différents. le résultat est époustouflant, soigneusement élaboré et interprété avec enthousiasme par quelques-uns des musiciens italiens les plus en vue de la scène actuelle: Alberto, Mandarini (trompette), Gianpiero Malfatto (trombone) ou l’inévitabie Carlo Actis Dato (anches) jamais meilleur que dans ce contexte. Francesco Fazio a judicieusement intégré des éléments épars dans un processus de composition orchestrale évoquant le meilleur Willem Breuker. Dans le livret, Fazio donne quelques explications sur le contenu des neuf píèces présentées : baroque, block chords, jazz modal, jingles, rock, films, comptines, classique, opera italien, percussions africaines, musiques traditionnelles et populaires nord-américaines, cartoons, Balkans… Monk, Coltrane, Rota, Schubert, Strauss, Mingus, Altena, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Joplin, Bach, Ravel, Moussorgskì, Bizet, Morricone, Belafonte … Pourtant, si notre attentìon est constamment sollicitée, ce n’est jamais par un quelconque exercice d’identification. En effet, cette ceuvre ne comporte pas de citations. De matériau composite, elle s’impose paradoxalement par sa cohérence, son unité et la piace qu’elle laisse pour des solos puissants et expressifs. Projet casse-gueule, réussite totale.

Zapping! – Jazzwise – July 2003 – by Duncan Heining

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

Zapping! – All Music Guide – April 2003 – François Couture



Artist Enrico Fazio
Album Title Zapping!
Date of Release Apr 2003
AMG Rating * * * *
Genre Jazz

Part a synthesis of bassist Enrico Fazio’s musical knowledge, part an exercise in style zapping, this album could be seen as a Mediterranean take on John Zorn’s cartoon music, although the results sound closer to a Southern Italian-based Frank Zappa big band than anything from Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The connection with Zappa is reinforced by the neon-sign design of the album’s title, which immediately brings to mind the cover of Zqppa in New York. But even in The Grand Wazoo, Zappa was a rocker. Fazio is first and foremost a jazzman and Zapping! remains a jazz album, but what jazz! The bassist takes listeners on quite a ride, referencing everything from Renaissance motets to Nino Rota and Harry Belafonte! Classical, African, Latin American, jazz and rock bits (snippets of melodies, chords, sometimes just rhythms) are not embedded in the frames of the pieces, they are the frames. You can listen to the album on at least two levels: casually, simply enjoying the challenging changes, the fun atmosphere, the Italian excess of it all, or intently, trying to spot all the quotes to see if your knowledge of music matches Fazio’s encyclopedic cycle. Any way you choose, the music is entertaining, but not easy to get into. The density of pieces like “Kitsch” and “In Vino Veritas” works against their catchy grooves. Highlights include the frantic “Wake Up!” (including a mad baritone sax solo from Carlo Actis Dato), the reharmonized version of the nursery rhyme “Frère Jacques” (“Ciao Jack!”), and the tuba-led “Libellula Obesa,” ending with a quote from the “Mickey Mouse” song. The brass-heavy seven-piece band rolls through the tunes with ease and a touch of craziness.

François Couture

Zapping! – Musica Jazz – June 2003 – by Libero Farnè

The article is available only in Italian.

Sette, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 / Wake Up! / Walkabout / Ciao jack! /lKitsch / Igor / Aria pura / Libellula obesa / In vino veritas.

Fabrizio Bosso (tr., flic.), Gianpiero Malfatto (trne), Francesco Aroni Vigone (sop., alto), Carlo Actis Dato (ten., bar., cl. b.), Angelina Perrotta (viol.), Enrico Fazio (cb.), Fiorenzo Sordini (batt., marimba, perc.); Alberto Mandarini (tr., flic.) sost. Bosso nei tit. V, VI, IX. Loc. scon., 17 e 18-6-01, 29 e 30-4-02. LEO LR 372, distr. lrd.

Fazio firma un’opera matura, avvincente, alla testa di un settetto che presenta una precisa impostazione orchestrale. L’idea predominante è quella dì un riciclaggio rigenerante ed euforico di svariati materiali: il ricorso alla citazione è sistematico (sono innumerevoli gli accenni a famosi motivi dei più disparati generi musicali), ma queste citazioni sono fugaci, mai insistite, e soprattutto vengono ammantate da sapienti arrangiamenti.
Anche i modelli di riferimento sono svariati e dimostrano una mìrata scelta di campo. Di volta in volta riaffiorano le movenze di Mingus o dell’Aeoc, della Liberation Music Orchestra, dell’Icp Orchestra o della Brootherhood Of Breath, e perfino le sofisticate trame della Vienna Art Orchestra. li tutto viene però rielaborato con una vitalità esuberante e un po’ scanzonata, con uno spirito visionario, forse non del tutto nuovo, ma carico di una densa e genuina partecipazione. Solo a tratti emerge quel sarcasmo tanto caro all’avanguardia torinese. L’ampia e attenta preordinazione permette al leader di dipingere un affresco imponente e movimentato, ma unitario.
Della complessa elaborazione orchestrale viene data un’inter pretazione palpitante. A tale proposito sono numerosi gli spunti solistici notevoli: in primo luogo quelli perentori e abrasivi di Actis Dato, ma anche quelli dinamici di Aroni Vigone, quelli crepitanti e materici di Malfatto, quelli vibranti dei due trombettisti. L’ultimo brano, lungo e articolato, offre una sorpresa dietro l’altra e può rappresentare la sintesi dell’intero Cd: la definitiva esplicitazione della concezione che lo permea.