Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Il Sogno – Birthday (2017)

Il Sogno

Emanuele Maniscalco - piano
Tomo Jacobson - bass
Oliver Laumann - drums

Birthday

GOTTA LET IT OUT




By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by young European Jazz trio Il Sogno comprising of Italian pianist Emanuele Maniscalco, Polish bassist Tomo Jacobson and Danish drummer Oliver Laumann. The album presents ten compositions, nine of which are originals (seven by all three members of the trio and one each by Maniscalco and Jacobson) and one is a famous movie theme.

Although this is seemingly a classic Jazz piano trio, there is absolutely nothing conventional about this music or the performances. The music is based on composed motifs, but presents a dimension of freedom, which is its most important element. The relatively concise pieces are an excellent way to expose the listener to as many different facets of the music as possible, and the diversity is very impressive.

The music creates an atmosphere of lyricism and melancholy, which of course is typical of European Jazz, emphasizing delicate interplays and intrinsic elegance rather than powerful expressionism. The melodic content is often implied rather than explicitly stated, which of course is a wonderful way to involve the listener within the intellectual process of "recreating" the music in the listener's mind, filling the blanks in many different ways.

The individual contributions by all three musicians are superb in every way. Maniscalco paints an expressionist melodic landscape with his elegant touches, Jacobson uses the bass completely outside of the bass convention in a most original and inventive way and Laumann is also a very unconventional drummer, who does everything except keeping time, which this music of course does not need at all.

Overall this is an extraordinary debut album, full of great music and excellent performances. The album's duration is a bit short (about thirty five minutes), but considering that it was released on vinyl and the CD is only a promotional copy, this is a minor matter. Wholeheartedly recommended!

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