Best of 2016 #23: Giovanni Guidi – “Ida Lupino” (ECM Records)


There’s an undeniable magic to the way pianist Giovanni Guidi and trombonist Gianluca Petrella shape the melodies of Ida Lupino before launching their afterimages deep into improvisations.  This quartet date with clarinetist Louis Sclavis and drummer Gerald Cleaver brings out one beautiful tune after the next… and they maintain a sense of song throughout, even though they go about exploring the different avenues and detours each composition affords them.  Both Guidi and Petrella can sink their teeth into a melody, but it’s how their complementary approaches provide a fullness to the expression that’s particularly rewarding.  Guidi works a melody like the breeze creating ripples on the water’s surface, seeking to use motion to accentuate the sparkle and shine of sunlight beaming down upon it.  Petrella’s motion is more direct, and his lyricism has a strong gravitational pull as his trombone displays an innate lyricism… sometimes in a booming voice, sometimes as a peaceful cooing.  And all of it is magical.

Jazz from Foligno, Italy.

Read more about the album on Bird is the Worm (LINK).