De VITO, TAYLOR & TOWNER
Provocateur Records PVC
1. Renewal 2. Scugnizzeide 3. Afterthought 4. Nova luce
5.Al tramonto 6. Verso 7.Chiara 8. I knew it was
you. 9. L'ombra e la gracia 10.Redial
Maria Pia De Vito...........Vocals
I must confess that I approached this album with some apprehensive feelings,
it's presentation was unusual, there were no photographs of the musicians
(although we managed to track one down) and not an awful lot of
information about them.
Little by little things started to fall into place, John Taylor must be the
one who was the pianist in the Ronnie Scott Quintet and I remembered how
much I had enjoyed his brilliant playing with Ronnie's band. He is also a
professor of Jazz at the Cologne College of Music.
Ralph Towner is one of the world's greatest guitar players, his album "Slide
Show" with vibraphone player Gary Burton should be in everyone's jazz collection.
By now the apprehension was slipping away and I was looking forward to the
Maria Pia De Vito was not known to me, but I read from the album notes that
she has worked with Kenny Wheeler, Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, Joshua
Redman and many of the other jazz greats. Maria is a very polished singer
indeed and her classical training shows in the excellent intonation present
at all times in her singing.
All of the tracks are original compositions by members of the group, my favourite
is Renewal, but all are interesting. Apparently the album came about through
a chance meeting of the three in a restaurant, after Ralph Towner had heard
a concert by De Vito and Taylor in Rocella Ionica in Italy. Colin Towns who
is very active on the London jazz scene, arranged for the recording to be
made in London in January and February of this year.
Does it work? Well yes it does, you need to approach it with an open mind
and let the music wash over you! If you can manage that, it is very enjoyable
In the notes the lyrics are translated from the Neapolitan, I did not find
much use for that, but it must have been quite feat! I did not need to know
what the songs were about, I was happy to listen to the work of three jazz
masters and enjoy the whole album of wonderful sound they have created.
I give this album a BUY recommendation.