Jun 19 2016
Sardinian Liturgy by the sextet of Angeli Burke Guerrini Magnusson Murray Tamborrino is one of the more creative and expressive recordings I’ve heard this year. Grounded in Canto a tenore… a traditional Sardinian folk music… it bridges the timeline from music of the past to sounds of the present, and it obliterates the borders between old school folk and modern jazz.
Tracks like “Stabat Mater” have a heavy influence of Canto a tenore, and these are the tracks that set the backdrop for the album’s evolution and vibrant imagery. For instance, “Northern Light” transitions from only that folk music influence into one more representative of the modern jazz scene… but never turning its back on its Sardinian folk roots. And it’s those kind of tracks that represent the music at its strongest. A unique voice is at play here, and the range of facets displayed by the sextet throughout is as fascinating as it is impressive.
The brief duration of “Anton” is just enough to time to weave intertwining lines of saxophone melodies. So, too, with the short piece “Industrial Rain,” and the way organic sounds of the past intersect with the electric sounds of the present. And a track like “Absinthe” shows how the Sardinian influence can mesh effortlessly into a modern style of guitar jazz reminiscent of Bill Frisell. The album is comprised of twenty-one separate tracks, but many don’t exceed two minutes… some as short as 30 seconds. But these are not interludes, they are simply quick glimpses of different facets of a singular vision.
When a normal six-stringer didn’t suit his needs for this project, guitarist Paolo Angeli built a custom guitar that has eighteen strings and all kinds of gadgets like hammers, pedals, motors and pickups. It’s an element that adds rich texture to this highly imaginative recording.
This is easily one of the best things I’ve heard in 2016.
Your album personnel: Paolo Angeli (prepared Sardinian guitar, gadgets), Robert Burke (tenor & soprano saxes, bass clarinet), Mirko Guerrini (tenor, soprano & baritone saxes), Jordan Murray (trombone), Stephen Magnusson (electric guitar) and Stefano Tamborrino (drums).
Released on Jazzhead Records.
Listen to more album tracks on the label’s Bandcamp page.