May 23 2017
I adore an ensemble that pushes all-in on a melody, time and time again. The sextet The Sycamore does it on their self-titled debut, and how they first craft a simple statement of melody and then just ride that thing as far as it’ll take ’em makes for some thrilling music that also happens to be pretty damn catchy. Two guitarists- one acoustic; the other electric- add some nice textures, especially in how the acoustic guitar of Alessio Capobianco lends a calming influence on “Nel Paese dei Balocchi,” a song that follows two previous that bring plenty of heat.
The solos get parsed out so that everyone gets their voice in within the span of a song, but also in a way that each song features one soloist more than the others on that track. On “Kali,” it’s trombonist Andrea Angeloni making the huge statements. On “Rain,” it’s bassist Pietro Paris doing his best imitation of the song title’s imagery, and when saxophonist Lorenzo Bisogno follows after, it’s as if sunlight has returned to the scene. And then there’s “Hard Times,” where electric guitarist Ruggero Fornari burns the melody across the heart of the song. And for drummer Lorenzo Brilli, it’s not about solos; it’s about how his constant, steady presence exerts a control over the tunes, so the dramatic moments show just the right amount of restraint so not to go overboard, and to spur the solos on further so they never get stuck in their own personal cycle of improvisation outside the sphere of group play.
The music lasts for a breezy forty minutes, and the perfect length for this particular project. It leaves the feeling of wanting just a little bit more, which is really the best way to leave a listener. Me, I’m looking forward to hearing more from this group. It’ll probably be that way for you, too.
Your album personnel: Lorenzo Bisogno (tenor sax), Andrea Angeloni (trombone), Alessio Capobianco (acoustic guitar), Ruggero Fornari (electric guitar), Pietro Paris (double bass) and Lorenzo Brilli (drums).
The album is Self-Produced.
Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Music from Perugia, Italy.
Available at: Bandcamp