Tiny Reviews: Allegretti Friedlander Malaby, Melanie de Biasio, & Piero Bittolo Bon Jump the Shark

Your Sunday edition of Tiny Reviews!

Featuring: Allegretti Friedlander Malaby Stoddard Place, Melanie de Biasio No Deal, and Piero Bittolo Bon Jump the Shark Iuvenes Doom Sumus.



Allegretti Friedlander Malaby – Stoddard Place

Arresting trio session from drummer Damian Allegretti, cellist Erik Friedlander, and tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby.  A languorous recording that sometimes displays a controlled fury, this is proof that a free jazz recording need not be an experience that forces the listener to the outer bounds of the conversation.  The way an alluring track like “Namasté” flows naturally from the slight heat of “Actora I” or how the sharp flurries of “I (#2)” take on a greater melodicism over the course of several tracks, culminating in the beautiful “I (#3)” illustrates the way this album possesses a small-moment and big-picture perspective simultaneously.  Some terribly beautiful moments interspersed amongst the scattered sounds.

The album is Self-Published.

Available at: eMusic | CDBaby CD/MP3 | Amazon CD/MP3



Melanie de Biasio – No Deal

Melanie de Biasio keeps it simple with her delivery, which is pleasantly unfussy, as is the accompaniment of drums, piano and keyboards, which match her minimal delivery with a fuzzy succinctness of their own.  It’s more pop than jazz, more Portishead than Lady Day, and from de Biasio’s own words and music, that appears to have been the intention.  There’s an enchanting quality to some of these songs, but it would’ve been nice had the music possessed a bit more of an edge, which we get a hint of on stronger tracks like “Sweet Darling Pain” and “With Love.”

There isn’t any one track that blows me away, but the surreptitious accumulation of a wispy ambiance, revealed slowly over the course of the album, is pretty damn cool in itself.  Great music when you’ve got a quiet room handy and plenty of time to just sit back, listen, and drift away.

Your album personnel: Melanie de Biasio (vocals, flute), Pascal Mohy (piano), Dre Pallemaerts (drums), and Pascal Paulus (analog synth, clavinet).

Released on PIAS America.

Available at: eMusic | Amazon CD/MP3/Vinyl



Piero Bittolo Bon Jump the Shark – Iuvenes Doom Sumus

Strange, yet riveting session led by saxophonist Piero Bittolo Bon, whose sextet finds a way to mix in some interesting instruments like sousaphone and 12-string acoustic guitar on this modern jazz that often veers into rock territory with an avant-garde flair.  Quirky doesn’t go nearly far enough to explain this music, nor does whimsical do any justice to the sharp teeth this music bares from time to time.  Similar in sound to Lucien Dubuis’ Spacetet, another top eMusic Jazz Pick from not long ago.  The upbeat moments are more frequent, but when the ensemble slows things down and lets trombone and vibes get out front, the music is pretty evocative.

Your album personnel: Piero Bittolo Bon (alto sax, composition), Gerhard Gschlössl (trombone, sousaphone), Pasquale Mirra (vibes), Domenico Caliri (acoustic 12 string guitar), Danilo Gallo (bass), and Federico Scettri (drums).

Released on El Gallo Rojo Records.

Available at: eMusic | Amazon MP3



Some of this material was used originally in the weekly new jazz releases column I write for eMusic’s Wondering Sound, so here’s some language protecting their rights to the reprinted material as the one to hire me to write about new jazz arrivals to their site…

“New Arrivals Jazz Picks,” “New Arrivals Jazz Picks,” & “New Arrivals Jazz Picks,“ reprints courtesy of eMusic.com, Inc.
© 2014 eMusic.com, Inc.

As always, my sincere thanks to eMusic for the gig.