...Manusardi is always in control, never letting go completely even when a piece occasionally veers into free-style terrain.
Italian pianist Guido Manusardi lived seven years (from 1967 to 1974) in Romania, during which time he performed and recorded regularly. Each of the ten pieces on this album sprout from Romanian melodies, which Manusardi arranges in his inimitable style. Working with a varied and talented Italian octet, consisting of trombone, trumpet, clarinet, saxophones, and rhythm, the pianist, in his own understated way, travels through curves and valleys, with not so unconventional harmonies, to produce music of lasting value. While Manusardi falls squarely in the modern mainstream, he distinguishes himself with structures that ever so slightly disregard expected norms. Tempos change, rhythms vary, harmonies weave, forming an undercurrent over which the horns take turns improvising. At first blush, the pianist does not seem to be doing anything unusual. But, as on his deceptively simple masterpiece "Old Plum Drink," which incorporates a march-like crosscurrent against free-style blowing by two saxes and wonderful trumpeting by Fabrizio Bosso. Throughout, trombonist Roberto Rossi, a mainstay on the Italian jazz scene, offers gutsy, conservatively boppish solos, while the most interesting work comes from clarinetist Guido Bombardieri, whose lines sing and dance with a quirky charm. Manusardi is always in control, never letting go completely even when a piece occasionally veers into free-style terrain. (allmusic.com)
|Dec 31, 2000