Aug 16 2015
Sounds of Hope is saxophonist Daniele Cavallanti joining up with the Milano Contemporary Art Ensemble to unleash a thrilling Big Sound that is equally dedicated to exploring the nuances of the compositions. The way Cavallanti is able to introduce the most delicate statements amidst waves of ferocity is just breathtaking.
The loud snarl that opens the album on “The Joe Rivers Blues” is just a prelude to the long strides and dancing cadences that mark this recording. Waves of dissonance throughout provide the sweetest of contrasts to the passages that simmer with a barely contained intensity. The thing of it is, the deft manipulation of emotional tone and tempo would be wasted were it not for the thick melodies that cut through the heart of every song and have the simultaneous role of directional tool and binding agent.
The strong blues of “You Ain’t Gonna Know Me ‘Cos You Think You Know Me” steps up with a melody that possesses an appealing weariness. Breathed out patiently, it creates an environment for the ensemble to launch into a raucous section that shouts to the sky with enthusiasm while never turning its back fully to the soulfulness from which it sprung. That abounding enthusiasm continues on “The Boss,” where viola and saxophone trade euphoric solos atop the large ensemble’s galloping tempo. The wild energy of “Braxtown,” on the other hand, manifests through a series of acrobatic twists and turns, blurted out with an acerbity that accentuates its curious flow.
It’s refreshing how Cavallanti and crew dig into a more straight-ahead composition with “Chief Crazy Horse.” It evinces the intent of form and presence, and Cavallanti treats it like a dance floor when he takes his saxophone for a twirl on a lovely, extended solo. In terms of album cohesion, it adds one more facet to the composite whole of the album’s personality.
The album brings down the curtain with “Sonia,” a song that opens with its love for formlessness and chaos, but niftily transitions into a celebratory march, a motion that bubbles with joy and rolls out a smile a mile wide.
A brief reprise of “You Ain’t Gonna Know Me…” is the recording’s final note, a gentle, heartfelt outro to an album that radiates a powerful liveliness throughout.
Your album personnel: Daniele Cavallanti (tenor sax), Riccardo Luppi (alto & soprano saxes, flute), Gianluca Elia (tenor & bass saxes), Massimo Falascone (baritone, contrabass & sopranino saxes), Francesco Chiapperini (bass clarinet, alto sax, flute), Luca Calabrese (trumpet), Beppe Caruso (trombone), Paolo Botti (viola, cornet), Gianluca Alberti (bass), Valerio Della Fonte (bass), Toni Boselli (drums) and Tiziano Tononi (drums, percussion, gongs).
Released on Rudi Records.
Jazz from the Milan, Italy scene.