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July/August 2005

Rosario Giuliani
More than Ever
Dreyfus Records

Rosario Giuliani's third CD for Dreyfus packs every bit as much punch as the previous two, both of which showcased the Italian altoist/sopranoist's prodigious ability to generate intense passion and excitement in a hard bop manner suggestive of players like Cannonball Adderley and Phil Woods. This time around he supplants his Italian rhythm section with a French one consisting of bassist Remi Vignolo, drummer Benjamin Henocq and special guests pianist Jean-Michel Pilc (a New Yorker since 1995) and accordionist Richard Galliano.

Giuliani utilizes a virtuosic technique and an edgy sound to prance blithely and sing poignantly as the setting dictates. Pilc's energy matches the leader's; the dissonant harmonies, crashing chord clusters and long, sequential melodic lines in the tricky 7/4 piece "Seven Thoughts" are typical of his approach. As always, Galliano demonstrates that the oft-derided accordion can serve as a genuine, fresh-sounding vehicle for jazz improvisation. His work on his own tribute to the Argentine tango great Astor Piazzolla, the mood- and tempo-shifting "I Remember Astor," is especially expressive and exhilarating. Except for the two by Galliano and one by Pilc, the compositions are all Giuliani's and exhibit a concern for craftsmanship that mere blowing vehicles usually do not.

Originally published in July/August 2005
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