Sunday, March 8, 2020

Rosario Giuliani - Love in Translation

© Copyright ® Steven Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

“The musicianship of Rosario Giuliani is exhilarating.  His total package of performance, composition and improvisation is not so much a breath of fresh air as it is a gale force wind blowing across a landscape littered with Charlie Parker and John Coltrane disciples.  He has a confident, masculine tone that is at once assertive and tender, betraying a bit of Julian Adderley and Eric Dolphy.”
- C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz, Review of Mr. Dodo, Dreyfus Jazz CD [FDM 36636-2]

“The overwhelming immediateness, passion and extraordinary swing is enriched by the surprising maturity with which Rosario handles the most difficult and compelling repertoire.”
- Paolo Piangiarelli, owner-operator, Philology records

“The discovery of Rosario Giuliani by a large audience is a blessing. At 34, this sax player is one of Italy's hidden treasures and his reputation keeps growing there. Swift, lyrical and inspired, endowed with an alto and soprano sound of blazing intensity, that owes as much to Cannonball Adderley or Jackie McLean as it does to Puccini, Giuliani presently shows a bold maturity. As both a sideman and a leader, he has, until now, mostly graced the stages and studios of his native peninsula, astonishing both European and American musicians who crossed his path. For six years now, the Rosario Giuliani quartet has been the laboratory for a personal, genuine, and invigorating vision of the Parker and Coltrane legacy - a crucible of creative and generous musicianship. Following a couple of recordings on small labels, this is his first album on the international scene. With it, the Rome-based reedman is likely to set the record straight, ruffle some feathers in the process, and provide many listeners with the whiff of fresh air they've been waiting for. At last!”
- Thierry Quenum, Rosario Giuliani Quartet: LUGGAGE [Dreyfus Jazz FDM 36618-2]

“I met Rosario Giuliani some years ago (he happened to be part of an orchestra in one of my recording sessions); after hearing him playing I nicknamed him "thousand-notes boy". I realised I had met a young sax virtuoso, perfectly mastering a refined and unexceptionable technique: an authentic improvisator. 

And you know, improvisation is the real essence of jazz. Capable of such personal interpretations (he seems to "live" each theme note by note, interval after interval) whose rigour and coherence I'm pleased to define almost classical, in this CD Rosario succeeds in giving the impression of a live stage, thus shortening distances between players and listeners and, therefore, heating the cold atmosphere usually pervading recording rooms. He has got sufficient charisma to become the catalyst agent of the group, gathering four extraordinary players: Pietro Lussu on piano and keyboards, Fabrizio Bosso on trumpet, Joseph Lepore on double-bass, and Lorenzo Tucci on drums.

Everything is plunged in a magic perception of time, non technical, where notes fly around the executed themes while different signals and sensations follow one another as if they were waving. Giuliani performs such long solos neither schematic nor repetitive. He has got a boundless fantasy and expresses himself playing notes which amplify the basic chords. His music is direct, harsh, delicate, introspective; his phrasing produces somewhere "note storms" His style is an exhausting outline of Parker's, Coltrane's and sometimes Ornette Coleman's musical experiences, filtered by his personal "search for freedom". The result is harmonically rich music, absolutely charming with its evolved melodies and swing.”
- Gianni Ferrio, [16 November 1924 – 21 October 2013) was an Italian composer, conductor and music arranger.

Italy is the home of clothes that people around the world love to wear, cars they love to drive and an appetizing cuisine that is universally popular.

It is also the home of a number of first rate Jazz alto saxophonists
dating back to the late Massimo Urbani [1957-1993], after whom Italy’s most prestigious Jazz award is named, including Gianluigi Trovesi, Paolo Recchia, Francisco Cafiso, Stefano Di Battista and Rosario Giuliani.

Indeed, if you like your alto playing searing, sensual and sonorous, welcome to the world of Rosario Giuliani. His is an alto tone that is big, biting and burning – all at the same time; it is a sound that totally envelopes the listener.

In addition to Adderley and Dolphy [and perhaps even some ‘early years’ Art Pepper], Giuliani also incorporates a style that is reminiscent of Chris Potter before he moved on to “the big horn,” especially the Potter of Presenting Chris Potter on Criss Cross [CD 1067].

Other alto saxophone contemporaries such as Jesse Davis, Kenny Garrett, Jon Gordon, Vincent Herring, and Jim Snidero, and are also reflected in Giuliani’s style, and yet, despite these acknowledgements, he is very much his own man.

Whether it’s running the changes on finger-poppin’ bop tunes, improvising on modal scales and odd time signatures or finding his way movingly and expressively through ballads, Giuliani enveloping sound is a force and a presence. He has a technical command of the instrument that lets him go wherever he wants to on the horn including employing the dash difficult Paul Desmond device of improvising duets with himself.

Giuliani’s recordings will also provide an opportunity to hear some wonderful rhythm section players frequenting today’s Italian Jazz scene such as pianists Dado Moroni, Pietro Lussu, and Franco D’Andrea; bassists Gianluca Renzi, Jospeh Lepore, Pietro Ciancaglini, Dario Deidda, and Rimi Vignolo; drummers, Lorenzo Tucci, Benjamin Henocq [Swiss/Italian], Massimo Manzi and Marcello Di Leonardo.  All of these guys are virtuoso players who can really bring it.

Rosario’s music is a reflection of a contemporary player finding his way through the modern Jazz tradition and establishing his own “voice.”

On his latest CD - Love in Translation from Via Veneto Jazz [VV 133] and Jando Music, Giuliani teams up with another distinctive stylist on today’s Jazz scene - vibraphonist Joe Locke. Joe has such an affinity for Jazz in Italy and seems to spend so much time in that beautiful country that fans might begin sounding out the “e” vowel the ends his last name rather than keeping it silent.

By way of background, Joe Locke was on the New York scene by 1980, leading bands of his own and playing with such leaders as Eddie Henderson, Ronnie Cuber and (as an arranger) Grover Washington Jr. His own projects have offered a very broad range of sympathies: straight-ahead vibes and rhythm, quasi-fusion projects, albums of pop covers and impressionist, chamberish music. 

But he stands very tall in a line of virtuoso vibes players, and there's little in any of them which sounds like compromise or music made just to sell records. He considers himself 'a two-mallet player who holds four mallets' because he uses the 'second' mallets to play chords rather than single lines. As with so many American players, much of his work has been done for European labels like Steeplechase and Sirocco.” [Source: Richard Cook’s Jazz Encyclopedia].

On Love in Translation, Giuliani and Locke are joined by bassist Dario Deidda and drummer Roberto Gatto who is himself a bandleader and recording artist of considerable repute.

The CD is available through Forced Exposure and offer information can be located by going here.  

The annotation for the recording on this marketing and distribution site reads as follows:

“With this intense and sophisticated album, Rosario and Joe celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their alchemical partnership and friendship. As the album's title itself suggests, Love in Translation is centered around the theme of love, the most powerful and enigmatic emotion. Among the famous standards contained are "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love" by Charles Mingus, "Love Letters" by Victor Young and Edward Heyman, and "Can't Help Falling in Love" of Elvis Presley's repertoire. It includes creative and warm original songs as well as tributes to two remarkable musicians: "Raise Heaven" which Joe Locke dedicates to Roy Hargrove and "Tamburo" by Rosario Giuliani to Marco Tamburini [a trumpet player who died in a motorcycle accident]. An entrancing, lavish album embodying overwhelming emotions yet with freshness, and which is sure to be a 2020 highlight. Also features compositions by Charles Trenet and Léo Chauliac, Weiss/Peretti/Creatore, and Cole Porter.””

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