By now it is clear that Mattia Cigalini loves to catch his listeners off-guard. “Beyond” had increased the level of fusion between jazz and pop by bringing into play songs by Katy Perry, Rihanna, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga, reinterpreted in a definitely original way. On “Right Now”, recorded with Enrico Zanisi, a step backwards only appears to have been taken. Actually, this record is a return to classical jazz and the traditional saxophone/piano duo. However, Cigalini and Zanisi have found a language of their own, moving along a path that unfolds through eight original tunes. The record layout also seems to comply with a well-defined approach. If we think of it as a traditional LP on vinyl, we might say that side A is the domain of Cigalini, while side B of Zanisi, apart from the two jointly-written opening tracks. A 45-minute dialogue, with the saxophonist asking questions and the pianist seeking answers. On the opening track, “The Painter”, the two musicians explore a wide range of colours. Three tracks by Cigalini, “Lost Steps”, “Herr Mann” and “Too Buth”, follow closely: time drawn out and quiet moods predominate, with moments of striking empathy between the two instruments and spaces in which improvisation by the two young talents prevails. “When I Disappear” is the latter jointly-written track that opens the alleged side B of “Right Now”, with peaceful, nocturnal sounds flowing into powerful solos. “Anthem”, “Elisir” and “Singe” are three tracks by Zanisi in which still no frenzy, but rather a search for sounds, voices and an interlocking of instruments can be perceived. There is nothing of the vehemence that two young lions of Italian jazz are supposed to convey, but a pursuit of elegance which is peculiar to more mature composers. If this is the start of two musical careers, there is reason to believe all will go exceptionally well.
Recorded and mixed in Cavalicco on 2, 3 January 2014 at Artesuono Recording Studio
Recording & mixing engineer Stefano Amerio
Photos by Andrea Boccalini
Liner notes by Brian Morton