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09/21/12

Dino & Franco Piana Septet
Seven
Alfa Jazz

This all-star aggregation features some of the most prominent names on Italy’s modern jazz scene, including trumpeters Enrico Rava and Fabrizio Bosso, drummer Roberto Gatto, superb pianist Enrico Pieranunzi and the father-son team of valve trombonist Dino Piana and his gifted offspring, the trumpeter-composer-arranger Franco Piana. The four-movement Open Dialogues bears the harmonically rich stamp of Gil Evans and includes expressive solos from each of the band members; their collective swing factor is evident on the exhilarating final movement of this impressive 24-minute suite, which includes a bold tenor sax solo from Max Ionata and an adventurous plunger solo from Bosso (who nonchalantly drops in a quote from Monk’s “Nutty” along the way). “Your Smile” is a gorgeous vehicle for Franco’s lyrical flugelhorn playing, and the uptempo burner “Eighty and One” is another swinging showcase with solo-section fireworks. “Asimmetrico” is a tip of the hat to Monk, while the beautiful ballad “Sunlight” has Pieranunzi channeling Bill Evans. Trumpet great Rava appears on one track, the buoyant calypso-flavored closer, “Step by Step.” Classy mainstream jazz at its finest.

Originally published in September 2012
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