Labels > Cam Jazz > Fulvio Sigurtà > The Oldest Living Thing

Fulvio Sigurtà

The Oldest Living Thing

Cam Jazz CAMJ 7886-5

Item: full_album_8052405141569_CD

Artists :
Fulvio Sigurtà ( Trumpet, Flugelhorn )
Steve Swallow ( Electric Bass )
Federico Casagrande ( Electric and Acoustic Guitar )
Release date
May 5, 2015
Duration
0:51:20

Back from the intriguing experience of “SPL” (in trio with Andrea Lombardini on bass guitar and Alessandro Paternesi on drums), a modern record with surprising turns, Fulvio Sigurtà is back with a more classically jazz album. Supported by Steve Swallow’s stunning bass guitar and Federico Casagrande’s refined acoustic guitar, Sigurtà’s trumpet and flugelhorn weave soft, enchanting melodies. You may let yourself be lulled by the first song and title track on this album, written by the band leader, and Casagrande’s “Sorrows And Joys Of A Lamb”. The two regularly alternate as writers of the nine original tracks on “The Oldest Living Thing”, composed by one or the other in more or less equal measure. The only virtual guest here is Ennio Morricone, who is involved thanks to an appealing reinterpretation of the theme from “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso”.  Sigurtà and his fellow travelers have looked for (and actually found) dazzling melodies throughout this fifty-minute long recording. From a musical idea unfold outstanding plots by the three instruments, with horns and guitar that often alternate with one another in leading the dance and Swallow’s bass that supports it all with valuable skill and excellent taste, watching the scene from behind the lines and emerging here and there with sophisticated virtuosities and a voice always utterly recognizable. Although the temperament and uniqueness of the sound of the powerful bass player from New Jersey is no surprise, one can rightly be a little amazed by the continuous growth of Sigurtà and Casagrande: the former has mastered a variety of timbres that would make many players envious (the intro to “Sunday Snow Flakes” is a case in point), while the latter invents sounds and harmonies that perfectly combine with the band leader’s ideas (“Travel Back”). This steadily evolving leader showed four completely different sides of his musical personality in his past four albums on CAM JAZZ: one of the talents among the new generation of Italian jazzmen who is worthy of being listened to most attentively.


Recorded and mixed in Cavalicco on 14, 15 July 2014 at Artesuono Recording Studio
Recording & mixing engineer Stefano Amerio

Photos by Andrea Boccalini

Liner notes by Brian Morton

Reviews

Fulvio Sigurtà The Oldest Living Thing

Dopo l’album prevalentemente elettronico “SPL” (CAM JAZZ, 2013), Fulvio Sigurtà sorprende per il suo approccio eclettico e si presenta con un nuovo disco, “The Oldest Living Thing” (CAM JAZZ, 2015), intimo e acustico. Ad accompagnarlo Steve Swallow al basso elettrico e Federico Casagrande alla chitarra acustica. Il nuovo album di Fulvio Sigurtà, trombettista italiano ormai residente a Londra da molti anni, mescola nuovamente le carte stilistiche e ci presenta un aspetto inedito della sua concezione musicale. In effetti va sottolineato che gli ultimi suoi dischi (tutti editi dalla CAM JAZZ) avevano temi diversi: il modern sound mainstream (“House Of Cards”), il duo con Claudio Filippini (“Through The Journey”), l’elettronica (“SPL”). “The Oldest Living Thing” presenta nuovamente un timbro inedito: il trombettista si accompagna infatti alla chitarra acustica di Federico Casagrande, suggellando così un rapporto musicale che dura da almeno dieci anni, e al basso elettrico di Steve Swallow, uno dei grandi numi tutelari del jazz moderno. Il risultato è un approccio acustico ricercato e particolarmente affascinante, morbido, fiabesco, imprevedibile, e senz’altro inedito. Le composizioni sono tutte originali, scritte alternativamente da Sigurtà e Casagrande, con l’unica eccezione di Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (Ennio Morricone), qui piacevolmente rivisitata. Un lavoro che dimostra ancora una volta l’eclettismo di Sigurtà, un disco affascinante e ben riuscito che si fa ascoltare senza mai stancare.

15/12/2015JazzitEugenio Mirti
Fulvio Sigurtà The Oldest Living Thing

Italian trumpeter Fulvio Sigurtà delivers strong moods and stately themes with the clean lines and the close control of a conservatoire training. And with close collaborator Federico Casagrande on acoustic guitar paying equally close attention to detail, the album unfolds as a series of closely-argued tone poems. The Italian aesthetic is reflected in the trio’s choice of cover, Ennio Morricone’s ‘Nuovo Cinema Paradiso’. But with Steve Swallow underpinning the stately themes with resonant bass guitar, there is a touch of the Tin Hat Trio’s left-field Americana in the mix. The album is book-ended by two takes of the title track – the closing duet is slightly faster than the graceful and pensive trio opener. Elsewhere ‘The Sorrows And Joys Of A Lamb’ flows with gently undulating contrasts of texture and mood, ‘Sunday Snow Flakes’ flutters, swirls and hints at the blues and the tricky unison lines of ‘Travel Back’ play out over a steady single note bass. And with each musician complementing each other’s textures and tones, the trio works brilliantly as a unit to create an intriguing set of undemonstrative chamber jazz.

1/10/2015JazzwiseMike Hobart
Fulvio Sigurtà The Oldest Living Thing – four stars

Among other traits in his refined and personal tone, the luminous Italian trumpeter and flugelhorn player Fulvio Sigurtà, a graduate of the esteemed Conservatorio “Luca Marenzio” Brescia and Berklee College, knows the value of silence. He understands its expressive weight, and uses it effectively as an artistic device. For this inspired trio meeting, Sigurtà, now based in London, makes every note and musical statement count, recognizing the importance of phrasing and space in his improvisations. Such sensitivity comes through with a special spirit on this album, Sigurtà’s fourth for the Italian label CAM JAZZ and sixth as a leader. Acoustic guitarist and composer Federico Casagrande sounds aptly resonant and subtle here, and down below, the sonic stamp of bassist Steve Swallow, whose electric bass radiates with the warmth of an acoustic instrument, supplies a flexible foundation for Sigurtà’s melodic and improvisational flight paths. Framing the album are two versions of the bittersweet, pensively lyrical title song – first with the trio, and then as a duet between guitar and trumpet. It is a wise sequencing strategy in terms of continuity and pacing, bringing the album full circle. The album features nine original compositions, but the sole cover –“Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” by Ennio Morricone– is a standout. Though the song is popular enough now to risk overkill, here it is given a dignified distinction. Beyond introspective balladry, “Travel Back” pits a restlessly scampering melody over Swallow’s slinky bass and Casagrande’s muted guitar, and “Loft” co-opts a quietly urging Brazilian pulse as the leader and guitarist spin out tasteful and searching solo lines. With an unhurried grace and controlled fire reminiscent of the late Kenny Wheeler and fellow Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava, Sigurtà has achieved something masterful in this chamber-esque setting. The trumpeter has come a long way since his first professional recording in 2004 with John Taylor and the Guildhall Big Band. He comes on strong, in a soft way, with poetry in tow.

1/10/2015DownbeatJosef Woodard
Tre strumenti per caso

Nel jazz il trio per antonomasia è ritenuto quello con pianoforte-contrabbasso-batteria, benché la sua storia inizi relativamente tardi con il be-bop, mentre prima e dopo si afferma una serie quasi infinita di triadiche combinazioni fra strumenti a fiato, a corda, a percussione… Anche in The Oldest Living Thing (CAM JAZZ) di Fulvio Sigurtà (tromba e flicorno) con Steve Swallow (basso elettrico) e Federico Casagrande (chitarra acustica) mancherebbe il supporto di uno strumento chiave della sezione ritmica come la batteria, ma il suono dilatato un po’ ambient del leader fa sì che i brani si inseriscano assai bene nel gioco e nell’amalgama dell’interplay.

8/8/2015Alias - Il ManifestoGuido Michelone
The Oldest Living Thing Fulvio Sigurtà

The Oldest Living Thing from Italian trumpeter Fulvio Sigurtà is about small quiet statements that speak volumes and sounds like human voices sharing intimate conversations. Swallow and acoustic guitarist Federico Casagrande keep this music singing, without a single note wasted. The title track is heartbreakingly beautiful, Swallow taking a typically gracious solo, utilizing his finely crafted sound and way with shape and color. The leader is next and his understanding of space is dazzlingly intimate, Swallow and Casagrande gently pushing him through and back to the main theme. Casagrande’s “Sunday Snowflakes” is another standout; over gently pulsing and swelling bass and guitar, Sigurtà finds notes that come out of the darkness to explore a universe of feeling. Swallow is ever present but never distracts from the narrative, moving it inward and outward. That is the definition of musical partnership and the ease with which that is accomplished feels perfectly organic and beautiful.

3/8/2015The New York City Jazz RecordDonald Elfman
Fulvio Sigurtà The Oldest Living Thing

This exquisite, quietly momentous chamber jazz is fronted by Italian Sigurtà with stately purpose, his gorgeous-toned trumpet leading the haunting music with an elegant solemnity suggestive of ancient ritual. Federico Casagrande provides glistening sonorities on acoustic guitar; all is threaded through by Steve Swallow’s meditative electric bass. A hypnotic exercise in patient story telling, this is healing music.

1/8/2015MojoChris Ingham
Fulvio Sigurtà The Oldest Living Thing

Dopo le alterazioni timbriche e le diramazioni lessicali di “SPL” (CAM, 2013, dove la tromba vagava tra le distorsioni del rock e i virginei silenzi nordici, con il più unitario “The Oldest Living Thing” il lucido Fulvio Sigurtà sforna probabilmente la sua prova più coerente ed equilibrata. Nonostante le numerose passioni stilistiche, dalla classica al pop, dal country alla musica improvvisata, anziché disperdersi in molteplici territori stavolta Sigurtà si immerge con decisione quasi totalizzante nelle acque familiari del jazz, e lo fa con grande personalità. È la risultante delle variegate avventure accumulate da un decennio a questa parte, sia in Italia, sia in Inghilterra; esperienze formative vissute con colleghi d’indubbio rango, a cominciare da Coscia, Ottolini, Pietropaoli, Damiani e dai coniugi Tippett. Curioso che uno dei dischi più jazzistici di Sigurtà non contempli la batteria, eppure il combo qui coinvolto garantisce battiti e pulsazioni anche senza tamburi. Non c’è però da meravigliarsi, vista la presenza di un bassista di caratura planetaria come Steve Swallow. Completa il trio il talentuoso chitarrista acustico Federico Casagrande (abituale partner del leader), recente protagonista di “Double Circle” in duo con Enrico Pieranunzi. Nel via vai di immagini - diradate e paesaggistiche, o potenti e urbane - evocate da ciascuna delle dieci tracce, Sigurtà e Casagrande si spartiscono la scrittura, benedetti da sintesi, scarnificazione linguistica, arte del togliere, personalità, marchi inequivocabili di integrità progettuale e maturità, tanto da non indurre a confronti con i grandi del passato. Plausi speciali alla mano fatata del filosofo del suono Stefano Amerio e alle foto tridimensionali di Andrea Boccalini: un artista.

20/7/2015AudioreviewEnzo Pavoni
FULVIO SIGURTÀ “The Oldest Living Thing”

Il solido rapporto, instaurato in questi anni fra la prestigiosa etichetta romana CAM JAZZ e il virtuoso della tromba italiana dalle sfumature britanniche Fulvio Sigurtà, giunge al suo terzo capitolo con un lavoro nel segno di una convincente discontinuità progettuale con le sue ultime produzioni. In tal senso, allo sperimentale album “SPL” del 2013, “The Oldest Living Thing” (realizzato in compagnia del magico basso elettrico di Steve Swallow e dell’incantevole chitarra acustica di Federico Casagrande) mostra il meditato ritorno di Fulvio Sigurtà ad un linguaggio più squisitamente jazz. Il collaudato e ravvicinato dialogo fra il flicorno e la tromba di Sigurtà e la chitarra di Casagrande si stempera nel fluire di tutti i brani inclusi nel disco, con una coerenza ed eleganza formale di rara intensità. In apertura, ci si imbatte subito nella struggente bellezza della title track a firma del band leader che, con il suo poetico lessico dà una precisa connotazione al lavoro. A seguire, nella successiva “Sorrows And Joys Of A Lamb” (struttura di Casagrande), si fa largo il fraseggio del chitarrista, abile nel tratteggiare le linee guida di un itinerario condiviso con l’alter ego alla tromba e che, nel trascorrere dei minuti, si ammanta sempre più di un’aura lirica e diffusamente carezzevole. Il sinergico dualismo Sigurtà – Casagrande, già intriso di un proprio respiro internazionale, viene ancor più esaltato dal personale suono e dalla sontuosa cifra stilistica di Steve Swallow che aggiunge un peculiare fascino al quadro sonico d’assieme. Il raffinato succedersi delle nove composizioni, per altro ripartite fra la vena creativa di Sigurtà e Casagrande, annovera la gradita intrusione della bellissima rivisitazione del tema di “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” di Ennio Morricone che, con la ciondolante “Sunday Snow Flakes”, la dolcissima “The Olive Tree Of Noah” e la briosa “Loft” compongono un lavoro di notevole spessore che incuriosisce, attrae, rapisce, dalle prime battute all’ultima nota.
La scheda tecnica di questo lavoro propende verso un giudizio positivo: alla nitida trasparenza dinamico-timbrica, corrisponde una buona ampiezza scenica che rende ancor più fruibile il suo contenuto.

30/6/2015Fedeltà del Suono - La Bacchetta MagicaFrancesco Peluso
Fulvio Sigurtà: “The Oldest Living Thing”

C’è la spinta ritmica, discreta e costante, del basso elettrico di Steve Swallow alla base del trio che il trombettista Fulvio Sigurtà completa con Francesco Casagrande alle chitarra acustica. Fatta eccezione per Nuovo Cinema Paradiso di Ennio Morricone, il programma presenta solo brani originali, firmati da Sigurtà e Casagrande, che hanno un colore timbrico definito nelle dinamiche, colmo di valore espressivo e formalmente organizzato in modo da esaltare le qualità liriche dei singoli. Le melodie risultano cantabili e le atmosfere sono misurate, a volte malinconiche, e per certi tratti poetiche ed evocative. Il trio riserva grande importanza al concetto di spazio, non sovrapponendo i suoni in una musica che respira e si espande con estrema eleganza.

12/6/2015 strategieoblique.blogspot.itRoberto Paviglianiti
Fulvio Sigurtà with Steve Swallow & Federico Casagrande-The Oldest Living Thing

There is a `music of the spheres` serenity about this peerless chamber jazz set that perhaps accounts for its cryptic title. The cover portrait appears to depict Sigurtà, head held back, seeking transcendence in the sound generated by wind blowing through overhead cables, something similar perhaps to the primal and pure sounds that might have existed at the very beginning of time itself. There is, however, nothing cryptic or obscure about the music itself which communicates with a clarity of purpose that emphasises the beauty of harmony and seamless melody. Sigurtà and guitarist, Casagrande both come from a background of classical music leading to periods of jazz education in the USA and subsequent professional engagements with high profile contemporary figures as well as pursuing individual recording careers. This release is the trumpeter’s fourth recording for CAM JAZZ. Steve Swallow, of course, needs no introduction having re-invented the sound of electric bass playing and followed a distinguished career in mainly small group settings where the emphasis has been on musical creativity & improvisational dialogue of a high order. The music performed here draws on a number of influences but melds them together in way that preserves unity and form. There are no obvious eclectic shifts to disturb the flow and jolt the listener out of a general comfort zone but at the same time there is sufficient in the way tonal variation and improvisational incident to ward off any feelings of lassitude. Sigurtà produces a beautifully mellow sound that employs the minimum amount of vibrato but manages a diversity of timbre that holds the listener’s attention throughout. Set against this the acoustic guitar harmonics, including the sound of the fret board mechanics, produce a brittle, metallic backdrop in accompaniment whilst the several extended solos recall the florid style of players like Segovia and Laurindo Almeida but without actually sounding Spanish or Brazilian. Indeed, the music, apart from a mellifluous version of Morricone’s `Nuovo Cinema Paradiso` doesn’t even sound overtly Italian but displays a neutral classicism incorporating organically generated lines of improvisational development. Even Swallow’s elegant solo contributions and restrained ostinati do nothing to usurp the prevailing mood by taking off in a Trans-Atlantic direction but serve to enhance the music’s fluent purpose. Most of the pieces are elegiac and song –like in nature but there are a couple of brighter tunes which employ perky themes riding on choppy ostinati and punchy chord patterns. These are very welcome and neatly round out what is a most desirable recording and one that will bring great pleasure to those who enjoy beautifully executed music that has both melodic appeal and intellectual depth.

1/6/2015 jazzviews.netEuan Dixon
The Oldest Living Thing Fulvio Sigurtà

A consistently beautiful album that includes some delightful melodies. The playing is flawless throughout with Sigurtà in particular impressing with both the purity and the expressiveness of his sound.
Italian born, London based trumpeter and composer Fulvio Sigurtà studied classical trumpet at the Conservatorio Luca Marenzia in Brescia before taking up a scholarship at Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. After a return to Brescia he then came to London to study Jazz at The Guildhall School of Music gaining a Masters with Distinction. Sigurtà has since worked regularly with both British and Italian musicians. He has been closely associated with the UK band Nostalgia 77 and the individual musicians involved with it including saxophonist James Allsopp, bassist Riaan Vosloo and drummer Tim Giles. Other musicians with whom he has worked whose names are likely to be familiar to British audiences are pianists John Taylor, Keith Tippett and Bruno Heinen and vocalists Ruthie Culver and Sara Mitra. He has also recorded with the popular pianist/vocalist Jamie Cullum, appearing on Cullum’s recent “Interlude” album. Sigurtà has had a long term musical relationship with the guitarist Federico Casagrande, Italian born but now based in Paris. The pair met when both were studying at Berklee and they have worked together many times since with Casagrande appearing on Sigurtà’s 2011 Cam Jazz release “House of Cards”, an album that also included Allsopp and the rhythm section of Vosloo and Giles. Casagrande leads several projects of his own and has released a total of ten albums as either leader or co-leader. “The Oldest Living Thing” is Sigurtà’s fourth album for the Italian label Cam Jazz, also the current recording home of the great John Taylor. Previous releases have been “House of Cards” (as alluded to above) plus “Through The Journey” (2012), a duo set with pianist Claudio Filippini and “SPL” (2013) a trio date with Andrea Lombardini (electric bass) and Alessandro Paternesi (drums). “The Oldest Living Thing” began with both Sigurtà and Casagrande composing pieces for the project and also taking the decision to include their version of Ennio Morricone’s enduringly popular “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” on the finished album. It was Sigurtà, together with producer Ermanno Basso who suggested that they approach the great Steve Swallow and ask him to become involved with the project. To their delight the American accepted but the planned two days of recording at the famous Artesuono Studios were cut short due to an airline delay with regard to the delivery of Swallow’s custom made five string bass. The newly convened trio rehearsed using a borrowed bass but the actual recording session had to be telescoped into a mere six hours. The recorded evidence suggests that these problems did much to concentrate the minds of the musicians and the finished product is characterised by its clarity and beauty allied to a sense of quietly disciplined artistic rigour. The music on “The Oldest Living Thing” can only be described as “chamber jazz”. In his liner notes Brian Morton talks of the influence on Sigurtà of both Miles Davis and Kenny Wheeler and posits the suggestion that the album title refers to music itself. Sigurtà’s tone on both trumpet and flugelhorn is rich and round but also striking in terms of both clarity and economy, he plays nothing superfluous and doesn’t waste a note. Casagrande plays acoustic guitar throughout and his playing dovetails neatly with Swallow’s distinctive, singing electric bass tone, a sound that is almost guitar like in itself. The album commences with Sigurtà’s title track, the gorgeous melody well served by the composer’s flawless playing and the delicate tracery of acoustic guitar and electric bass. Casagrande’s guitar introduces his own “Sorrows And Joys Of A Lamb” which boasts a similarly delightful melody and exhibits similar musical virtues. Sigurtà’s trumpeting is both agile and expressive and he combines well with Casagrande’s cleanly picked guitar and Swallow’s supportive bass. For all his qualities as a soloist Swallow is also an excellent team player as he reveals both here and elsewhere. It’s Swallow’s bass that begins Sigurtà’s gently brooding “Helichrysum”, a reflective item even in the context of this most contemplative of albums. Sigurtà’s tone is almost a whisper and there’s some beautiful filigree guitar work above the underpinning ostinato of Swallow’s bass. Casagrande’s “Marmotte” is like a kind of courtly dance as guitar and bass intertwine exquisitely in an extended mid tune duet. Also by Casagrande “Sunday Snow Flakes” is initially based around the composer’s insistent guitar line which provides the framework for Sigurtà’s trumpet meditations which see the leader more fully exploring the full range of his instrument and introducing the slurring technique. There’s also a solo from Casagrande himself as Swallow limits himself to a largely supportive role. Swallow’s ominous sounding bass pulse is at the heart of Sigurtà’s “Travel Back” a piece that Morton describes as “the scratchiest, most restless item here”. Sigurtà’s trumpet and Casagrande’s appropriately scratchy acoustic spar fitfully above Swallow’s grounding bass figure. The Morricone piece features Sigurtà on flugel, his delicately nuanced playing honouring the famous theme and contrasting well with the ringing, harder edged sound of Casagrande’s tautly strung acoustic. “The Olive Tree Of Noah” then retains essentially the same instrumental sounds on a charming melody from Sigurtà’s own pen. Casagrande’s “Loft” invokes a similar atmosphere to the earlier “Travel Back” as Sigurtà’s trumpet dances airily above Casagrande’s restless, possibly flamenco inspired guitar rhythms and pulses. The piece brings a welcome sense of urgency to the proceedings. The album concludes with a duo version of the title track played by Sigurtà and Casagrande that is, if anything, even more serene and beautiful than its trio counterpart that opens the album. “The Oldest Living Thing” is a consistently beautiful album that includes some delightful melodies and the playing is flawless throughout with Sigurtà in particular impressing with both the purity and the expressiveness of his sound. However the album is rather one paced and the overall mood of prettiness allied to quiet concentration can become a little soporific after a while with tracks like “Travel Back” and “Loft” providing a long overdue injection of pace. There’s also the sense that Swallow is rather underused, he links up well with Casagrande early on and also delivers some distinctive anchoring bass lines but there’s little of the fluent, melodic, liquid soloing for which he is so justly renowned. It may be that the time restraints counted against the trio in this regard. There is much to enjoy about “The Oldest Living Thing” but its rarefied, chamber jazz atmosphere won’t be to the taste of all listeners. The addition of a drummer, Tim Giles perhaps, on selected tracks might have helped to give the album greater variety and energy but I’ve no doubt that Sigurtà considers the album to be a success on its own terms, a fulfilling expression of a unified sound and concept.

28/5/2015thejazzmann.comIan Mann
Fulvio Sigurtà – The Oldest Living Thing

Sigurtà, born in Italy and schooled at Conservatorio Luca Marenzio and Berklee in Boston, has a marvellous modern European trumpet sound, neither Milesian cool nor Marsalis hot, rich and clear in tone, glossy but in a rich way that goes below the surface.
For this trio date he has American Steve Swallow on electric bass and fellow Italian Federico Casagrande on acoustic guitar. The two Italians share the compositional duties and the programme is arranged around Ennio Morricone’s Nuovo Cinema Paradiso.
Sigurtà writes a pretty tune, and the title track is just one example. It seems to share with the compositions of Norwegian trumpeter Matthias Eick an allegiance more to pop/folk structure and feel than to those of jazz, but I don’t find the Italian’s melodies make quite the connection with me that the Norwegian’s do. I prefer him on a spikier piece like his Travel Back.
In the excellent liner note by Brian Morton, he links Sigurtà with the late Kenny Wheeler. It’s a connection I don’t quite get. Certainly some of Wheeler’s ambiguous mood is present but Sigurtà’s tone is much more direct. He certainly rarely goes up for those high smeared notes.
The ambience throughout is one of calm and reflection, contented rather than searching, with a glimmer of that light I always enjoy from Mediterranean players. It’s a lovely three-way conversation between like-minded musicians.

12/5/2015Jazz BreakfastPeter Bacon
Fulvio Sigurtà - The Oldest Living Thing

The music of Italian trumpeter Fulvio Sigurtà appears to float like an endless procession of cirrus clouds, such is the lofty, special and elemental nature of his playing and writing on new trio album The Oldest Living Thing. Sigurtà's academic progression is impressive – as a conservatoire student of classical trumpet in Brescia, he then took up a scholarship at Berklee, Boston (which also saw the beginning of his fruitful association with acoustic jazz guitarist Federico Casagrande) before finally achieving a Distinction in his Masters at London's Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2005. In the decade following, he has become much in demand as a recording and touring artist, more recently with the likes of Nostalgia 77 and Jamie Cullum. Now, on this fourth album for the Cam Jazz label, he again collaborates with old friend Casagrande (as he did for 2007 debut, Conversations), as well as inviting much-lauded electric bassist Steve Swallow to complete the sound he was "dreaming of". Recorded with striking immediacy, inside six hours, at Italy's Artesuono Studios (renowned for its special clarity), the three forge a distinctive chamber mood which, dependent on your standpoint, might mostly be described as understated, wistful or meditative – all with an unerring Italianate precision. Trumpeter and guitarist share compositional credits, with the addition of an Ennio Morricone interpretation. Sigurtà's trumpet and flugelhorn tone is satisfyingly clear and mellow, as revealed in his quietly haunting title track, its cinematic qualities redolent of I Vitelloni or Il Postino; and Casagrande's curiously-titled Sorrows and Joys Of A Lamb subtly waltzes to supple guitar extemporisations, with Sigurtà accentuating its mournful theme. Helychrysum is similarly low-key as guitar and trumpet solos rise out of Swallow's bass ostinati, followed by Marmotte which dances demurely to closely intertwined guitar and high electric bass. Pattering gently and irregularly in 7/4, Casagrande's Sunday Snow Flakes prompts a particularly inventive show from Sigurtà, leaping and slurring to great effect; and then there's the pleasingly quizzical episode of coincidental guitar and trumpet lines over an ominous, pulsing bass line in Sigurtà's Travel Back. Ennio Morricone's affecting Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (from the movie of the same name) is treated to a reverential reading as the soft vibrato of Sigurtà's flugelhorn blends magically with a harder, though still delicate, guitar accompaniment; and The Olive Tree of Noah flows gracefully to melodic, brassy wave after wave. Breaking out of the album's pervading tranquillity, Loft politely whirls to Casagrande's animated, almost Flamenco-like guitar rhythms and riffs as Sigurtà improvises more brightly – a beautiful, tantalising glimpse of the trio's lighter side (with echoes of Fresu) which might have been welcomed at other stages of the album sequence, too. And to close, sans bass, a balmy duo reprise of the title track. The serenity of this release requires a certain time and place to respond to its manifold details and nuances. But once there… well, just submit to the profound sincerity of its musicianship.

7/5/2015londonjazznews.comAdrian Pallant
Fulvio Sigurtà: The Oldest Living Thing

The Oldest Living Thing is trumpeter and composer Sigurtà's sixth album as leader or co-leader, his fourth for the Cam Jazz label. He's also recorded with pianist Francesco Turrisi and as a member of Nostalgia 77. For this album he's joined by acoustic guitarist Federico Casagrande (who shares writing duties) and Steve Swallow on electric bass. Sigurtà and Casagrande form an empathic partnership and prove to be complementary in their writing styles. Both men leave plenty of space in their playing and compositions, generally favor slow tempos and, with the notable exception of the exciting rhythmic attack on “Loft”, avoid any sense of urgency. Sigurtà wrote five of the tunes, Casagrande composed four. Stylistically there's little to differentiate the compositions, the cool spaciousness both men bring to their writing giving their tunes more shared characteristics than differences. Swallow provides a strong rhythmic foundation on tunes such as "Travel Back" and “Helichrysum”. However, on "Sorrows And Joys Of A Lamb" and "The Olive Tree Of Noah" his electric bass seems to conflict with rather than complement the acoustic instruments, intruding into the calmness created by the other two players. The duo version of Sigurtà's "The Oldest Living Thing" benefits from the absence of a bass, gaining a greater gentleness and serenity than the trio version. The album's sole cover is an atmospheric version of Ennio Morricone's “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso”. It's more dramatic than most of the tunes on The Oldest Living Thing but as with much of the album Sigurtà's playing is relaxed and unhurried, Casagrande's is controlled but passionate.

6/5/2015allaboutjazz.comBruce Lindsay
Fulvio Sigurtà with Steve Swallow and Federico Casagrande: The Oldest Living Thing

Trumpeter Sigurtà's new album is his fourth for the CAM JAZZ label, and he once again includes his regular musical companion Casagrande on acoustic guitar - plus the distinguished presence of U.S. bass guitar legend Steve Swallow. They form a delightful unit, for Swallow is one of the most sympathetic players on his instrument. His solo on Casagrande's tune 'Marmotte' is a gem, but throughout the album his note placement is perfect. Sigurtà, born in Brescia and classically trained, has worked with plenty of distinguished players in the past, including such diverse talents Giovanni Guidi, Jamie Cullum and John Taylor with the The Guildhall Big Band. It was at London's Guildhall that he gained his Masters with Distinction, but he has also studied at the Conservatorio Luca Marenzio in Brescia and at Berklee, Boston. All this preparation has paid off tremendously, and he is surely poised to gain a worldwide reputation among listeners as well as musicians. Paris-based Casagrande is considerable guitarist, too, often subtle but unafraid to really attack the strings effectively (as on his tune 'Sunday Snow Flakes' here). All the tracks are originals by the trumpeter and the guitarist, with the exception of their duet on Morricone's 'Nuovo Cinema Paradiso', with lovely soft tones from Sigurtà and 12 shimmering steel strings from Casagrande. Sigurtà and Casagrande launch 'The Oldest Living Thing' on May 5 at the Vortex in London, with the excellent UK bassist Kevin Glasgow substituted for Swallow.

4/5/2015jazzcamera.co.ukJohn Watson
Fulvio Sigurtà/Steve Swallow/Federico Casagrande: The Oldest Living Thing review – pensive and penetrating

High on a list of ideal marriages between sonically compatible jazz musicians would have to be the liaison of Italian trumpeter Fulvio Sigurtà and the inimitable bass guitarist Steve Swallow. Sigurtà and his regular guitar partner Federico Casagrande wrote this music with Swallow in mind, and the American was, happily, up for it. The trumpeter’s silvery sound is a marvel, a simmering brew of Miles Davis, Kenny Wheeler, Scando-ambiance and Mediterranean warmth, and Swallow’s unhurried basslines and velvety sound float around it with a lazy grace.
The music is often pensive, but Sigurtà’s capacity to be penetrating without turning up the volume injects a deceptive intensity. His slow vibrato shimmers through the beautifully woven title track, his low tone merges into Swallow’s and his double-time agility is Wheeler-like on the brisker Sorrows and Joys of a Lamb – Wheeler’s coolly accumulating thematic method seems to hover behind the gently sensual Marmotte. Morricone’s Nuovo Cinema Paradiso finds Sigurtà purring over Casagrande’s jangly acoustic-guitar chords, and the Latin dance of Loft emits remarkable bounce considering Sigurtà’s and Casagrande’s instincts for understatement.

30/4/2015theguardian.comJohn Fordham
Fulvio Sigurtà - The Oldest Living Thing

If your jazz persuasion runs along the "Wham, Bang, Thank You, Ma'am" lines then this album is not for you. However, if you've found a space in your heart for the lyricism of Chet, Miles, or/and Chris Botti then they'll have to move over to make space for Italian horn man Sigurtà. As cool and as laid back as his Stateside forebears, Sigurtà's sound is as refreshing as the taste of a Negroni cocktail on an Italian summer's day. No bravura flourishes, just meaningful phrases that convey so much more than sheer displays of technical virtuosity. This is music from the heart. Had Bix been around today he may well have sounded like this. Behind and alongside are Swallow and Casagrande both as cool as the leader. Swallow - a jazz legend - Casagrande. Surely soon to be one. Together they support and complement Sigurtà on a disc that will appeal to anyone with a leaning towards the lyrical. Some might call it "Easy Listening" and it most certainly is but it's Easy Listening with Attitude and that makes a difference!

24/4/2015bebopspokenhere.blogspot.co.ukLance
Fulvio Sigurtà, The Oldest Living Thing

Tonally grounded, middling every single note, Mathias Eick-like somehow, it would be hard to find a bigger listen-like-your-life depended-on-it beginning to an album than on the title track of this new trio album, an original of the well travelled Italian trumpeter Fulvio Sigurtà’s.
Here in the empathetic company of Carla Bley/ex-Impossible Gentlemen bass guitar legend Steve Swallow and guitarist Federico Casagrande on a major statement of artistic renewal with this gripping selection of tunes mainly written alternately by either the trumpeter or the guitarist the inclusion of Morricone’s ‘Nuovo Cinema Paradiso’ is the only concession perhaps to shameless sentimentality. Recorded very handsomely by ECM-favoured engineer Stefano Amerio at his Artesuono studio near Udine in Italy in July last year sleeve notes are by the distinguished jazz writer Brian Morton, a big plus, the Scot commenting: “Sigurtà offers a home and sojourn in every musical moment,” which is so perfectly apt.
Sigurtà gigs coming up include the Vortex, London on 5 May

16/4/2015marlbank.netSG