Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Lorenzo Feliciati, Koi

The realm of electric jazz as made so vibrant in the late '60s-early '70s by Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi and others was subject to controversy during the ascendance of the Neo-Trad phase of the music in the '80s. Time has moved on of course and we understand that many styles can exist together in the present without the need to dismiss one or another, or claim a monolithic hegemony for just one. We are learning, finally? I don't know what if so, but maybe.

And so I have certainly appreciated the electric jazz renaissance that we have seen in the last decade. Not that the music ever left, of course, but there has been a renewed spirit present today in the music that may have been less present for a time in the past.

So an excellent example of the new electric avant jazz can be heard from Lorenzo Feliciati and his recent album Koi (RareNoise 34849). This is some very cosmic, tall-ceilinged, rock-beated composition-improvisation. Lorenzo excels as electric bassist, guitarist and orchestrator. Alessandro Gwis plays some very nice piano and effects-filtered piano, and Steve Jansen plays some very hip drums and helps out in the programming.

Added to this core trio are guest spots by Pat Mastelotto (drums), Angelo Olivieri (trumpet) and Nicola Alesini (soprano). A three-man horn section of tenor & bass trombone and baritone adds special color at times, quite nicely.

So that is the game plan. The music itself has drive and lots of bottom thanks to Lorenzo's bass and the horn arrangements. The entire sound picture is extraordinarily inventive with electronics and conventional instruments melding together for sonic originality. It's spacey, yes, but not in ways entirely predictable. And the compositional element really rings out and structures everything.

I am thoroughly impressed and enlivened by the sound of this music and the many milestones one passes through in the course of (repeated) listening.

This is beyond music of the highest sort. Bravo!

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