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Carlos Franzetti: The Jazz Kamerata

Carlos Franzetti’s The Jazz Kamerata is a project both ambitious and modest. While it clearly seeks that seductive, elusive ideal of the jazz/classical hybrid, Franzetti humbly describes it as “a mood album.” It is notably successful in both regards.

Franzetti, a pianist, vocalist, conductor and composer of classical concert pieces and film scores, understands that the way to achieve synergies between the classical and jazz genres is not to blend them but to creatively juxtapose them. His program contains jazz standards by the famous (Miles, Jarrett, Shorter) and the almost famous (Clare Fischer, Claus Ogerman). Franzetti uses a seven-piece ensemble of woodwinds and strings to provide complementary, evocative contexts (all seven players are classical musicians except bassist Jay Leonhart), and sets free his own piano, Lawrence Feldman’s reeds, and Leonhart’s bass to improvise over and within them.

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