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“PEGASYS”

Artist: Pegasys

Date of Release: 27/05/2016

Catalogue no: SLAMCD572

Label: SLAM

Price: £13.99

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Errico De Fabritiis (alto sax), Biagio Orlandi (soprano sax, tenor sax),
Francesco Lo Cascio (vibraphone), Gianfranco Tedeschi (double bass), Cristiano De Fabritiis (drums).

Pegasys is a group of musicians who decided to make a collective search through the possibilities offered by composition and free improvisation.
The outcome of this choice is a double cd, two discs proposing two different musical approaches.
The “Yellow Disc” collects a series of free improvisations titled “Composition #”, to point out their sense of impromptu collective compositions.
The “Red Disc” contains instead compositions by single members of the group. Here the sensibility of the authors emerge as well as the different composition techniques, filtered and worked out by the ensemble through individual and collective choices.
As Giancarlo Schiaffini highly sums up in the liner notes, “Improvisation is an instant composition and composition is a delayed improvisation

 

Reviews

 

01/04/2017 Jason Bivins

This twofer is chock full of very tasty freebop from Italy. With the key addition of Lo Cascio’s vibes, these fine musicians range from the mid-1960s heyday of combined idioms into the more contemporary appropriations of, say, a Ken Vandermark small group. This is especially evident on the Red Disc, which is more easily identifiable with “jazz,” A nice taut drum solo opens up into a mid-tempo swinger, with big vibes and overlapping tempi that serve to accentuate the contrasting saxophonic approaches. Across each of these tunes, from the craggy “Mad legs” to the lushly lyrical “Still insensitive,” the group moves easily and elegantly between free-sounding sections and tight unisons, often buoyed by Tedeschi and De Fabritiis’ nimble pulse-driving. Orlandi has a great tone, and he sounds really effective when he dials up some bluesy lines. The altoist plays more brightly, and he’s extraordinary on the compelling, somewhat somber “Clouds.” They’ve got a distinctive sound and real chemistry, which one definitely needs in order to pull off some of their trickier pieces, like the counterline-heavy “Tuttavia.” More of a somber chamber vibe opens up the Yellow Disc, with grouped horns, a very lithe, expressive arco solo, and some really haunting vibes. It proceeds through a series of miniatures, some (“II” or the tasty horn duo “IV”) exploring a single idea or texture, while others (“III”) are brisk and multi-directional. The latter pieces (including “VIII”) are impressive in how quickly they gear up and winding down, with the players managing not to trip over each other despite the energy conjured up. But I certainly was more compelled by the textural pieces, as with the low furtive sounds on “V,” eventually cresting in held tones. Overall, the first disc is more of a success, but you have to tip your hat to a group with such range and such fine improvising. A winner. Jason Bivins, Cadence Magazine, May 2017. http://www.cadencejazzmagazine.com/membersonly/admin/assets/CadenceApril2017.pdf

 

01/08/2016 Ken Cheetham

This double CD by Pegasys, a quintet of Italian musicians, might very well have been named ‘Writing and Improvisation’, as it sets out to explore possible alternatives between the two methodologies. Pegasys, perhaps rightly, see themselves as a collective, as their philosophy dictates that all five musicians be involved in discerning and defining their musical direction.

The red disc is a collection of tunes composed by individual band members, while the yellow has eight spontaneous, collective, free improvisations. The production defines their researches into a balance between composition for ensemble and collective/individual invention. Pegasys uses muses from 20th C musical patois: be it big-band swing, 60s contemporary, avant-garde or free jazz the sense of their improvisation moves away from the vernacular of any single style.

I like the idea of this study and the two CDs offer a fine comparison. I have to say though that I was not taken by the composed tracks on disc Red, but that surely must be a personal dislike, as on the other hand, I found the Yellow numbers to be completely satisfying and wanted to play them again, immediately. This is a fine quintet of skilled and creative musicians and the album in total has a lot to offer. Fascinating.
Reviewed by Ken Cheetham http://www.jazzviews.net/pegasys---pegasys.html

 

18/07/2016 George Harris

The five teamed Pegasys consists of Errico De Fabritis/as, Giagio Orlandi/ss-ts, Francesco Lo Cascio-vib-perc, Gianfranco Tedeschi/b and Cristiano De Fabritis/dr. The produce here two discs, with the first (“Red”) one being alluring post bop and the second (“Yellow”) on the more experimental and free form side.

From “ Red” we get clever military drive on “Pegasys” with melodic bop lines” while the vibes snap on “Mad Legs’ and coalesce into a good groove on “Still Insensitive.” The saxes hold onto a white knuckler of a Mingus-inspired “Tuttava” while on the “Yellow” disc vibes team with sax squawks on “Composition III” and the honk on the jagged “Composition VIII.” Things get a bit more placid with long tones on “IV” and bowed bass work on “II” but each piece has a highly intuitive feel. Freedom and form both exposed.
George Harris
http://www.jazzweekly.com/2016/07/body-slams-six-in-one-subjects-and-structures-pegasys-pegasys-george-haslam-mario-rua-maresia/

 

14/07/2016 R. D. Rusch

The group PEGASYS [Errico De Fabritiis-as, Biagio Orlandi-ss/ts, Francesco Lo
Cascio-vbs/perc, Gianfranco Tedeschi-b, Cristiano De Fabritiis-drm] has issued the
2 CD set, RED DISC/YELLOW DISC
[Slam 572]. The Red disc is 6 original compositions [35:26] by group members.
The Yellow disc is 8 free tracks [27:14].
The composed sides have a retro feel to them, due to the vibes.
The free sides are at times a bit aimless, I’d assume the players are not well acclimated to free jazz.
What interests me is why 2 discs? — the music would fit quite well on one. Nice post production and graphics.
R. D. Rusch Papatamus July 2016

 

16/06/2016 Bruce Lee Gallanter

PEGASYS - Red Disc / Yellow Disc [2 CD Set] (Slam 572; UK) Featuring Errico
De Fabritiis on alto sax, Biagio Orlandi on soprano & tenor sax, Francesco
Lo Cascio on vibes & percussion, Gianfranco Tedeschi on double bass and
Cristiano De Fabritiis on drums. The great UK-based Slam label continues to
promote musicians from Italy and South America, who are often
under-recognized yet still worth searching out. Pegasys are quite a find
considering how large the Italian creative music scene has expanded over
the past decade. Saxist Errico De Fabritiis can be heard on a few more
recent discs from Improgressive (superb CD on Slam covering rare prog &
Canterbury gems from the seventies), as well as Roots Magic (swell disc in
Clean Feed covering some free jazz classics). The other members of this
quintet can also be found on several discs from the Leo and Slam labels.
This impressive two CD set features one disc of original written
compositions (‘Red’) and one disc of group improvisations (‘Yellow’). The
opening track is the title piece and it swinging hard with a great solo for
the soprano sax. The songs here are often written which sections for
stretching out, “Still Insensitive”, features some strong vibes from Mr. La
Cascio, both supporting the other players and soloing well also. Both
saxists play different lines which are connected on the themes and which
swirl around one another tightly as well. “Viaggio Lungo un Giorno” has a
solemn chamber jazz-like sound during the first section but soon erupts
into a more chaotic part and then back to the more restrained chamber jazz
conclusion. For the ‘Yellow’ disc, all of the pieces are called
“Composition” with a number, although these pieces are improvised.
Listening closely, it is hard to tell sine the quintet is often so focused.
I can hear some of the freer passages but there is often a variety of
inner-connections or exchanges going on. The interplay between the two
reeds and the vibes/bass/drums rhythm team is often special,
well-integrated. It sounds as if both saxists have been working together
for a long while since they appear to finish each others’ lines. What is
interesting is the way these pieces evolves through different sections with
surprising twists and turns. Each member of this quintet are well-chosen
for the job of combining forces, listening closely and interacting on an
organic level. Even in the freer sections, no ever steps on anyone else.
Strong yet subtle medicine. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG 16/06/2016

 

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