Best of 2019 #30: Roberto Negro & Théo Ceccaldi – “Montevago”


This site used to have a series called Something Different, in which music that fell outside the jazz mainstream would be featured.  That series was dropped, because, really, something different could describe most of the music featured on Bird is the Worm.  But, even in that context, the music of Roberto Negro and Théo Ceccaldi is something quite different indeed.  Their latest collaboration, the duo project Montevago, is a graphic illustration of their ability to combine alien melodicism, cross-genre hopscotch, and a thick sense of humor in one singular form of expression.  Montevago is chamber music and modern jazz and raw experimentalism shaped as a startling approximation of electronic music.  Both pianist Negro and violinist Ceccaldi are enthusiastic adherents to prepared piano and extended violin techniques, and it goes a long way to expanding the tonal range of musicians who have a pretty long wingspan to begin with.  This music is serious and funny, seriously funny, and fun.  Quite often, it imitates the motion of dance.  It’s just sometimes, the dance is something that could not possibly be executed by the human body… at least, not without, first, brutalizing the laws of physics.  Simply outstanding.

Your album personnel:  Roberto Negro (piano) and Théo Ceccaldi (violin).

Released on the Full Rhizome label.

Music from Paris, France.

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