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CD: L'Arsenale delle apparizioni

 

 

I Giganti Della Montagna

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L'Arsenale delle apparizioni

Artist: I Giganti Della Montagna

Date of Release: 13/01/2014

Catalogue no: SLAMCD548

Label: SLAM

Price: £9.99

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‘I Giganti Della Montagna’ is a trio founded in 2012 by Sicilian saxophonist and composer Ferdinando D'Urso with pianist Lorenzo Paesani and cellist Federico Sconosciuto.
"L'Arsenale delle apparizioni" is their first album, recorded at the end of January 2013 and now released by SLAM Productions.
The music played by this trio blends elements from western art music, from improvised music, jazz and Sicilian folk music. The goal is to achieve that perfect mix that could be called - in Gunther Schuller words - Third Stream.
The name of the trio – ‘I Giganti Della Montagna’ (The Giants of the Mountain) - and the title of the CD - "L'Arsenale delle Apparizioni" - refer to the last work of Sicilian playwright Luigi Pirandello. He reveals here the difficulty that the contemporary art encounters in public reception. ‘L'Arsenale delle Apparizioni’ is a place in this work where dreams and reality mingle in a summary, a place where negative is exorcised; so "L'Arsenale delle Apparizioni" wants to be a place where everyone will recognize himself and his history overlapped, confused and at the same time that coincides with what ‘I Giganti Della Montagna’ narrates in notes.
All the compositions are by Ferdinando D'Urso except for Due frasi, written by Andjela Bizimoska and arranged by Ferdinando D'Urso.

 

Reviews

 

10/02/2014 Rotcod Zzaj

I Giganti Della Montagna – L’ARSENALE DELLE APPARIZIONI: What an improv adventure…. from Sicily, saxophonist Ferdinando D’Urso, pianist Lorenzo Paesani and cellist Federico Sconosciuto join forces to take you on a wild romp through music you’ve never heard before – even in your wildest dreams! Mighty mellow pieces like “Al Gran Sole” are blended together with “definite jazz” compositions like “Concerto Sacro” to give you a genuine jazz experience like you’d get nowhere else! What I truly like about this album is that the artists are presenting true art without being pretentious or “above it all”… very real, very down-to-earth and high-talent jazz that will melt in your mind & influence your thoughts about music for many years to come. I give the trio a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.97. Get more information at the SLAM Productions site. Rotcod Zzaj http://rotcodzzaj.com/wordpress/?page_id=4412

 

03/02/2014 Ken Cheetham

My first thoughts were of the names both of the trio and the album, even though the source was known to be Italian, for they were familiar to me.

L'Arsenale delle Apparizioni is a place in an unfinished work by dramatist and prolific short story writer Pirandello, a major Sicilian artist born in Agrigento in 1867 (d.1936). He anticipated many of the topics exploited later by existentialists such as Sartre and Beckett, even using formidable techniques such as resolving a scenario so concisely that it looked more like paradigm than reality. His 'folk tales' were truly Sicilian, but by this I mean to exploit the thinking of a one-time Professor of Modern History from Palermo University, who wrote that a Sicilian nation does not exist, but that for centuries different races superimposed their cultures one upon another and failed to fuse, never even coming close to each other.

Ferdinando d’Urso plays alto and other saxophones and writes profusely and profoundly on a range of jazz cultural matters. His writing moves from the clever play of light and shadow, as though created by an unnatural source outside of the canvas, in a work by Caravaggio, to American
altoist Julius Hemphill and his second album ‘Coon Bid’ness’. D'Urso discusses its primary meaning, ‘Black pride’ and the notion that in the album title the expression is reversed, given a positive, proud, racist and elitist value to create an identity from the ghetto.

I believe that d’Urso has applied his considerable profundity to the notion of the folk tale and to Pirandello’s story to allude to the theories of Gunther Schuller regarding the ‘third stream‘ in music, the topic of his musicology thesis at Bologna University. L'Arsenale delle Apparizioni, the Place of Apparitions (or Ghosts) in the dramatist's work, is where dreams and reality congregate and where adversity is banished, so that even when public acceptance of a contemporary art fails – as it did with ‘third stream’ – that ‘perfect mix’ can still be achieved.

'Eclectic' is the word. Here we have Sicilian folk music, contemporary jazz, modern (20thC) European classical elements, the sway of Klezmer and the influence of free improvisation. There is much movement between them all, but the way is never lost. Torpid though the pace may mostly be, inculcating an amiable deportment through the trio, there are occasional challenges which act as punctuation to the pieces, without which any language may falter. There is no faltering here, not even when two players seem to take a 'solo' concurrently as it were: it is perhaps the presence of the bowed cello which makes this more possible than otherwise. The combination of this trio of instruments has a particular sound which is very moving, emotionally, yet very tasteful and cerebral.

L'Arsenale delle Apparizioni is an album of very lovely music that very quickly becomes familiar, but its complexity maintains the depth of its interest.

Reviewed by Ken Cheetham http://jazzviewscdreviews.weebly.com/ Feb 2014

 

17/01/2014 Dave Sumner

PICK OF THE WEEK.I Giganti Della Montagna, L’arsenale Delle Apparizioni: Fascinating release by the trio of Ferdinando D’Urso (alto sax), Lorenzo Paesani (piano), and Federico Sconosciuto (cello), mixing straight-ahead jazz, free improvisation, and Sicilian folk music. It’s music that often has a lot of moving parts in play, yet never loses its charming demeanor… cerebral music that is also heartwarming. The way songs alternate between challenging disassemblages and languid melodic throes adds to the album’s appeal. Something different that sounds like something that’s supremely familiar. Pick of the Week. Dave Sumner http://www.emusic.com/17dots/2014/01/15/new-jazz-this-week-with-i-giganti-della-montagna-max-bab-harrison-bankhead-more/

 

20/12/2013 Bruce Lee Gallanter

I GIGANTI DELLA MONTAGNA [FERNANDO D'URSO/LORENZO PAESANI/FEDERICO
SCONOSCIUTO] + ANTONIO MONCADA - L'Arsenale Delle Apparizioni (Slam
548; UK) Featuring: Fernando D'Urso on alto sax & compositions,
Lorenzo Paesani on piano, Federico Sconosciuto on cello plus Antonio
Moncada on drums (one track). The title of this discs translates to
'The Giants of the Mountain' which is taken from an unfinished work
by the Sicilian playwright Luigi Pirandello. This piece was to have
been the third part of a larger work called, the "Myth of Art". It
takes place in "the Arsenal of Apparitions". I am not familiar with
any of the musicians here except for their guest drummer who has
worked with Stefano Maltese and Giorgio Occhipinti. The trio of alto
sax, piano and cello does have their own sound. The first track, "Al
Qantar" reminds me of the quaint, quirky melodies of someone like
Kurt Weill with some Klezmer influence thrown in. The music here has
a rustic, almost majestic quality at times. It has that chamber jazz
sound with elegant flourishes. There are some moments when two of the
musicians will solo simultaneously (piano & cello or alto sax &
piano) before they resume to theme. This music reminds me of
soundtrack music for an older European (dramatic) film from perhaps
the fifties or sixties. Melancholy at times yet often enchanting in
its own way. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG Newsletter 20 December 2013

 

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