The Carla Marciano Quartet gives a well-rounded program that features the saxophonist in a variety of situations, highlighting her appreciation for a lyrical ballad as well as for the fiery quality that one can conjure up through Jazz's resources. The undying stamina that she exhibits through several up-tempo pieces, with sheets of sound flowing in all directions, shows a propensity for excitement and awe-inspiring expression. She communicates on a personal level, taking advantage of her beautiful tone quality on alto to "sing" lyrically with genuine passion. Much of the program is original: Marciano contributed six pieces and her pianist contributed one. Several flow with a lovely ballad air, while others drive forcefully with intensity. On sopranino, she pushes "From where?" and "Spiritual game" with a powerful drive. Marciano likes to combine a calm, laid-back accompaniment with soloing that builds from medium to high heat. Piano, bass and drums rollick gently behind her with a firm, crisp attack and direct lines of motion. It gives her plenty of room for exploration. She takes her liberal breaks with a powerful force. Several selections push it to the limit, absorbing all the energy from the room and channeling it into an open space as would the eruption of a volcano. At other times, the mood shifts toward sensitive ballads that soothe and define. Her title track, for example, allows Marciano to converse eloquently with the listener as if she were sharing a table at the local coffee shop. "A Strange Day", performed as a duet with bass, allows her the luxury of "speaking" at length over a lovely improvised theme. Several of her compositions take on an exotic harmonic timbre, while others revel in their lyrical simplicity. A music major who earned her diploma in clarinet at the Conservatory of Music in Salerno, Marciano has adapted the full spectrum of music's magnetic power to her latest album. This one is destined for inclusion on our top ten list for 2006.
Italian alto and sopranino saxophonist Carla Marciano wears her admiration for John Coltrane on her sleeve. It would be difficult to find another saxophonist whose conception, phrasing and tone (even on alto) owe more to Coltrane's than do hers. Intense, high energy modal playing suffused with trills, runs, fragmented phrases and breakneck scalar passages characterizes much of her playing, although on tunes such as her own "A Strange Day" and "I Try to Remember," as well as the standard "Pennies From Heaven," she shows that she is capable of relatively delicate swing as well. Marciano is a marvelous saxophonist and improviser, consistently demonstrating impressive control of her instruments and her material, most of which she composed herself. Pianist Alessandro La Corte not only provides roiling accompaniment for the saxophonist's passionate flights but offers a needed contrast with well-constructed, swinging hard-boplike solos of his own. Music of such high intensity asks much of a drummer and bass player, and Gaetano Fasano and Aldo Vigorito come through admirably.
No strangers to cutting-edge music, the Black Saint label maintains the momentum of Italian saxophonist, Carla Marciano’s debut Trane’s Groove. Her quartet’s latest record, A Strange Day brings exciting modal stylings and with so many originals ranging from bop to the avant-garde, it will surely appeal to straight-ahead fans. A Strange Day, an extraordinary album! This impressive ensemble includes Marciano (alto & sopranino saxophones), Alessandro La Corte (piano), Aldo Vigorito (bass) & Gaetano Fasano (drums) and their opening track, Dance of Mind is the first of many examples of each having a voice then weaving it around Marciano’s free style. Great performances reveal themselves on the mid-tempo number, Around Steps and, with a Dave Brubeck kind of vibe, you’ll be amazed to realize this is Marciano’s song! Her maturity as an artist, both in composition and performance, will take your breath away on the tracks, Far Away and I Try To Remember. Written with slower tempos and in the style of the standards, she explores and delivers stunning sax lines with lasting qualities. While, the title track A Strange Day is a hip number featuring only the sax and acoustic bass. Marciano’s arrangements offer differing and varied perspectives. She puts a little sass into the John Burke/Arthur Johnston classic Pennies From Heaven, and delivers a boppin’ version of Irving Berlin’s, Russian Lullaby. Like a shot of espresso, A Strange Day serves up a punchy taste of the avant-garde, stirs it with the sounds of bebop, then simmers with longingly-romantic interludes. With so much to offer, this could very well be the Carla Marciano4tet’ssignature CD!
Con una battuta un po' rozza si potrebbe dire che suona come un uomo, ma la sassofonista salernitana non ha bisogno di mettersi a confronto con i colleghi su questo piano. La sua autorevolezza, già dimostrata tre anni fa con il disco d'esordio "Trane's Groove", non è che rafforzata da una raggiunta più solida maturità, che la pone tra le figure da tenere costantemente d'occhio d'ora in poi. Accompagnata da un trio (La Corte al piano, Vigorito al contrabbasso, Fasano alla batteria) già presente per i primi due terzi nel lavoro precedente, Marciano imbraccia il contralto, ma sembra un tenore, il registro è scuro, profondo e i riferimenti coltraniani, così evidenti anni fa, si stemperano in un fraseggio che alterna intensi momenti poetici a incisivi interventi che coprono l'intero range dello strumento. Quando poi imbocca il sopranino la timbrica è straordinaria.
Carla Marciano arricchisce il prestigioso catalogo Black Saint con "A strange day", un disco di forte impatto che ben esprime l'onnivora foga espressiva della giovane salernitana. La sassofonista sfodera un linguaggio ormai personale e maturo, con una timbrica che smorza la nasalità del sax alto modellandola sul calore del tenore e una visione melodica che dovrebbe chiarire una volta per tutte, quanto Coltrane sia una sensibilità profonda e metabolizzata Dove Trane posta alle estreme conseguenze la ricerca melodica, Carla suona, invece, in assoluta libertà con una melodia sottesa, sempre chiara e percepibile. Grazie a un quartetto convinto e allineato su precise istanze espressive, il disco mescola senza soluzione di continuità hard bop, ballad, standards e momenti introspettivi e sospesi, con un incipit senza compromessi che sembra conferire al lavoro un'autorevolezza e un "suonare" senza tempo, nel solco di una profonda devozione al credo modale.