Monday, February 11, 2008

Gabriele Coen offers Italian world music with jazz

Gabriele Coen and Atlante Sonoro
CNI Music (

A household name in Italian jazz, Gabriele Coen (clarinet, soprano and tenor sax)is the founder of the noted ensemble Klezroym. On this 2007 recording he reunites Atlante Sonoro (Sound Atlas), with Pietro Lussu (piano), Marco Loddo (double bass) and Luca Caponi (drums) and guest guitarist Lutte Berg. Alhambra continues in the vein of Atlante Sonoro’s Duende, a contemporary, improvisatory renovation of traditions from Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Levant.

The ensemble allows each player room to develop their individual voices, creating a shifting sonic blend in which no one player stands apart. The title track’s driving pace and wailing clarinet owe more to jazz and klezmer than to the Iberian Peninsula, while "Belz" takes a nod to John Coltrane’s soaring lines and the pulsing modalities of McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones, a mood that echoes throughout this recording. More contemplative is Lussu’s "Lake Song," an expressive conversation between keyboard and soprano sax. In turns, Wayne Shorter’s "Ana Maria," Loddo’s "Auteyrac," and Coen’s "Roma Ad Agosto" and "Piccolo Tango" essay the quiet intensity and tonal range with which the quartet invests its collective conception. Coen’s "Maldafrica" looks south for its rhythmic thrust, while an idiosyncratic reframing of the Sephardic classic "Los Bilbilicos" takes the quartet through the lyrical intonations to which the album title alludes. - Michael Stone

CD available from cdRoots

Gabriele Coen offers Italian world music with jazz

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