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Enrico Rava: Easy Living

Enrico Rava Quintet (L to R): Stefano Bollani, Gianluce Petrella, Rava, Roberto Gatto, Rosario Bonaccorso

Enrico Rava’s sporadic appearances on ECM include a pair of mid-1970s outings with John Abercrombie, not to mention a bit part on Carla Bley’s eccentric 1974 classic Escalator Over the Hill. The patriarch of Italian jazz returns to ECM with Easy Living, a rhapsodic nine-track offering with his latest working quintet.

The first half of the program is solidly ECM: stately and dark. “Cromosomi” leads off with a moody descending line, followed by the piano-and-trumpet duo sketch “Drops” and the mallet-driven, straight-eighth groove of “Sand.” Rava centers the music with his caramel tone and spacious rhythmic concept, without quashing the more whimsical voice of trombonist Gianluca Petrella or the technically dazzling presence of pianist Steffano Bollani. Bassist Rosario Bonaccorso and drummer Roberto Gatto propel and color every tune with skill and imagination.

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