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The Scarlatti Book : Sonata Inspiration

outhere music OUT 658 [55:25]




  1. AKA 99

  2. AKA 466

  3. AKA 141

  4. AKA 87

  5. AKA 175

  6. AKA 213

  7. AKA 492

  8. AKA 1

  9. AKA 109

    Fabrizio Cassol - Alto saxophone

    Michel Hatzigeorgiou - Fender jazz bass

    StÚphane Galland - Drums

    Fabian Fiorini - Piano

    Here's an intriguing combination. The Belgian jazz trio, AKA Moon, bring to their works progressive rock, fusion and world music influences. Their unusual name arose from an early experience in the Central African Republic studying the musical habits of Aka pygmies! In 2017, they celebrated their 25th Anniversary with the issue of a box set, containing 20 albums. A further album will appear later this year. Consistently collaborative, they are joined on this disc by another luminary of the Belgian jazz scene, pianist, arranger and composer, Fabian Fiorini. Leader and saxophonist, Fabrizio Cassol, has taken as his inspiration a selection of single movement sonatas for harpsichord from among the 555 the prolific Neapolitan composer (1685-1757) wrote. As the liner notes inform us, 'Scarlatti's music is sometimes played as is, sometimes skimmed or even just quoted, but its stylistic specificity always remains evident'. Cassol brings to the table the multi-cultural, cross-genre influences already mentioned. I suspect the result will prove fascinating to lovers of classical music, jazz and, of course, crossover.

    Every track on the CD has its merits and indeed, particular beauty. Four are outstanding. AKA 99 features the sublime alto of Cassol with skilled accompaniment of a high order and an insistent rhythm. AKA 141 presents us with a lively theme driven along by some vigorous drumming and sonorous electric bass (Hatzigeorgiou is from the school of Jaco Pastorius). The alto strays nearer to free jazz this time around while Fiorini demonstrates both his classical piano and jazz improvisation chops. AKA 87 meanwhile is a Bach-like piece where all contribute to the success of the track. Nothing short of lovely. AKA 492 is a further sprightly number with solid group performances and the excellent keyboard skills of Fiorini putting me in mind of Jacques Loussier. There are even hints of Balkan folk music apparent. Elsewhere, a Middle Eastern flavour colours AKA 213, for instance. The same qualities of invention, group cohesion and superb musicianship can be found, not just in those singled out for comment but throughout the disc.

    All in all, this CD makes for satisfying and engaging listening. I especially appreciated Cassol's stylish alto as well as his compositional flair. It is good to discover exceptional talent one hasn't come across before.

    James Poore

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