Being in the studio one September day in New York with Scott Colley, Dave Binney and Clarence Penn could have given rise to some strange ideas, leading to a kind of exaggerated record, full of extreme technical virtuosity, or a mass of abstract and cerebral sounds that are the common denominator of much European jazz. But luckily Francesco Cataldo resisted every such temptation and, accompanied by the faithful Salvatore Bonafede, he has given us a truly amazing creation, by doing what he always does best, and by relying on the interplay of the musicians, as well as on the melodies.
From the very first track the band starts inexorably grinding out some persuasive and truly seductive sounds and the magical mechanism that is the engine of jazz immediately gets up and running. The essence of this kind of interplay consists in the pleasure that musicians derive from being able to create a musical dialogue through their instruments, while exchanging information as they play together. The discipline of the band does the rest, preventing any particular one of the musicians from being the absolute protagonist.
This acts like a magic spell, especially considering the entirely new line-up on this CD. The melody is the protagonist in each composition: it is a record full of themes that open up your heart and mind. These are the sounds of the Mediterranean, as deep as the sea that surrounds us. Everything revolves around the melody, in absolute harmony, and each individual instrument supports the poetry that captures the spirit of the listener. These inspired musicians always make these pieces balanced and evocative thanks to the blend that they have created. Even though all of them have rather different training, culture and experiences they have created a great feeling of harmony. It is not necessary to play wagonloads of notes, but the goal is to find exactly the right note. Also the pauses are seen as being important, and so in all of the tracks you can hear that a greater value is given to emptiness than to fullness. Bonafede likes to point out that “when you play you have to start out from silence” and this record perfectly testifies to this fact.