Fans of jazz brilliance have a lot of choices to choose from, but if one needs to have that in their life right now, look directly at Italian Counter (Altrisuoni), a live album featuring Lewis Porter, Furio diCastri, and Fabrizio Sferra. Anyone who knows Porter's background, or at least knows of his work, knows that he takes his music very seriously, and when asked to perform in Italy, there were only a few people Porter wanted to work with.
According to Porter in the liner notes, the musicians met and maybe practiced for only an hour before they would eventually do the show that is the source of this CD. Yet after listening to the first song, "Blues For Siena", it sounds like they've been a trio for most of their lives. The chemistry between these three musicians come from a love of jazz, music, improvisation, and creativity, even in a track like the standard "Body And Soul" the listener has no idea where things are going to go, but just moving through the song is part of the fun.
It's an interesting language, this music is, because they are speaking to each other in a manner where there are no words, and if diCastri feels like playing a bassline that is different from what Porter is playing, Porter will catch this and not play along, but let diCastri walk his own path and give him room before meeting him at the other end. The recording itself is superb, with little emphasis on the audience and more on what's going on stage. My favorites on her include "Cherokee Variation", "Wine Hot/Three As One", and "Again And Again", although the entire album is solid as is. The reason these guys sound like longtime friends is due to their passion for the music, the musicians they've worked with, and the collected experiences between them which makes it possible for them to communicate this way. A very moving CD.