Reedplayer Gianluigi Trovesi seldom strays from his Lombardy roots, physically or musically, but carries his vision of jazz/classical fusion in many reed cases. This nine-CD set (1978-2004) spans his clear-eyed, joyous reinventions of Renaissance dance and march repertory through a jazz prism. Trovesi seeks melodic invention across the seldom-traversed clarinet spectrum—alto, piccolo, bass, even standard Bb—achieving gorgeous timbres with a modicum of contemporary flash. His crystalline alto, pleading and bluesy, shapes solos, which, while short, are eminently melodic and contextual and please with immaculate technique, fond whimsy, sure swing and splintered free-jazz, arching through Gene Quill, Michel Portal and Oliver Lake. Five leader dates—two for solo/trio, two for octet, one orchestral—are fresh in concept, with a green ear for marrying past and future. Shrill, arcane solos and trios breathe rustic medieval historicity. Baghèt (1978) launches excursions built on pennywhistle ditties and bagpipe drones that fast-forward us to ‘70s free-fall. Trovesi spins wacky, logical variations for 20 jarring minutes, conjuring Steve Lacy’s blunt duck-works, David Murray’s wheedling blackbirds and Anthony Braxton’s slap-tongue cicadas. Boosted with Paolo Damiani’s bass (and/or cello) and Gianni Cazzola’s darting drums, his soprano sax finds the double-reed buzz of Bergamo bagpipes and tackles head-on launeddas, the Sardinian panpipe. On Five Small Stories (1980) the trio warmly weaves Ur-theme threads, cannily overdubbed, with spit-in-our-face mania, Eric Dolphy-ian bass clarinet vamps, John Coltrane’s latter-day soprano babel and the lull of Ottoman ney. Freewheeling octet dates brim with humor and camaraderie. From G To G (1992) sounds rustic and rough, with no chordal instruments and bold bottom; Trovesi girds his pellucid alto and earthy clarinets with Marco Remondini’s cello, two bassists (Roberto Bonati, Marco Micheli), Rodolfo Migliardi on Roswell Rudd-like trombone or tuba and two drummers (Fulvio Maras, Vittorio Marinoni). Prodigious chameleon Pino Minafra, on punchy trumpet or hooting didgeridoo, adds value with buzzy scat, kazoo chops, pseudo-muezzin calls, bullhorn, even subaqueous chatterboxing. The band ably romps through bebop, dizzy trad strut, klezmerish quicksteps, Nino Rota clips and whiffs of Mingus. On Les Hommes Armés (1996), atmospheric miniatures pepper two rousing suites—“Ambulat Hic Armatus Homo” [This is how an armored man walks] and “On Va Marcher” [We’re gonna march] (hilariously live in Belgium), which unfurls with the martial snare snap of Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat. Rounding out the short-form parade are a genial “Mood Indigo” send-up and “Tango/Tengo/Tungo” cartoon sketches. Best of all, Around Small Fairy Tales (1998) whips Trovesi’s hometown (Nembro) orchestra and chorus into a memorable concert marrying traditional bergamasco folksong with combo and strings. A gentle standout! Trovesi’s four sideman dates pale by contrast, except for pianist Guido Manusardi’s sextet romp through stalls at The Village Fair (1996), cheerily upending Eastern-mode tunes mixed with bop. The best takes are lively blues “Three Basil Leaves”: fine-fettled Harmon-muted trumpeter Paolo Fresu and Roberto Rossi’s bumptious trombone wail with Trovesi’s squealing sticks. Rhythm mates Furio Di Castri and Roberto Gatto blaze throughout. Trumpeter Enrico Rava’s Electric Five (1995) quickly sheds shred guitar trappings, baring his true-écru sentimentality. Trovesi and Rava trade relaxed fours over liquid funky backbeats and weave leisurely cabaret tunes with mild electric effects, mellow plectral bop, a dash of “Milestones” and a textbook “Boplicity”. Composer Alfredo Impullitti’s sprawling Missa (2001) slow-mashes Stravinsky licks, Arvo Pårt chorales, Ellington snippets and modal jazz tropes, Trovesi dabbling in pad-flappery, quartertones and chalumeau forest-floor scurries. Marco Remondini, cellist on the octets, leads his quartet Asymmetrique (Nivola, 2004) in delicate tracery amid electrified sass for cello and bass clarinet. But when his tenor sax locks horns with Trovesi, their flurry of kitsch galumphs waltzes, jeers at “Yakety Sax” and slurs buffo beer-hall vocals.