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April 2004

Carla Marciano
Trane's Groove
Black Saint/Soul Note

The Italian saxophonist Carla Marciano rightly named her first album Trane's Groove (Black Saint), for on both alto and sopranino, her approach shows the strong influence of the recording's namesake. Much of the music has a modal character and in general, Marciano's playing utilizes the runs, cries, multiphonics and other techniques that Coltrane pioneered in that context. Even when she's playing a nonmodal tune, those mannerisms tend to dominate her solos. Since she is quite technically proficient and obviously steeped in the conventions of modal playing, her improvisations generate a great deal of passion and excitement. Her fine pianist Alessandro La Corte tends to adopt a hard-bop stance in his solos, and he contributes some first-rate improvisations that are both imaginative and rhythmically appealing. In contrast to most of her playing on the CD, Marciano's warm alto reading of the melody of "Stars Fell on Alabama" shows that she can easily move to a more conventional, nonmodal style when she wants to.

Originally published in April 2004
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