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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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ENRICO RAVA QUINTET

Tribe

ECM 276 6970

 

 

1. Amnesia
2. Garbage Can Blues
3. Choctaw
4. Incognito
5. Cornettology
6. F. Express
7. Tears for Neda
8. Song Tree
9. Paris Baguette
10. Planet Earth
11. Tribe
12. Improvisation

Enrico Rava - Trumpet
Gianluca Petrella - Trombone
Giovanni Guidi - Piano
Gabriele Evangelista - Bass
Fabrizio Sferra - Drums
Giacomo Ancillotto - Guitar (tracks 1, 6, 7, 8)

 

This being an ECM release, there are no sleeve notes or useful background information - just some uncaptioned, shadowy photos of the veteran trumpeter and his younger colleagues having a thoroughly miserable time.

This is European jazz of the most intensely introspective kind. If that floats your boat, then you will love this, but I have to say I found it a rather depressing experience as tense ballad follows tense ballad. Not even the jollier-sounding titles such as Garbage Can Blues and Paris Baguette have any element of lightness or, dare I say, forward propulsion. Only tracks 3 and 11 convey any sense of musicians having a good time. Indeed, the title-track itself is a really fun piece as if the straitjackets had at last been discarded.

Rava, who sometimes sounds like our own Kenny Wheeler (well, OK, Canada's Kenny Wheeler) but without the passion, plays trumpet throughout (in other words, no flugelhorn) and has composed all tracks except number 12 which is a brief collective improvisation. His front-line partner, trombonist Petrella, sounds as if he might burst into some straight-ahead jazz at various points but, alas, the dense poly-rhythms behind him don't encourage that.

I'm not averse to intense, introspective trumpet (or flugelhorn) playing. Indeed I am a great admirer of the aforementioned Kenny Wheeler and I also revere the extraordinary Tom Harrell, but I regret to admit that this CD left me largely unimpressed.

George Stacy



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