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Massimo Sammi: First Day

Guitarist Massimo Sammi demonstrates a penchant for conceptual jazz schemes on his latest CD, First Day. Inspired by the movie A Beautiful Mind which was based on the life of the extraordinary mathematician John Nash, Sammi constructs a sonic storyboard fraught with melodic and mathematical motifs that move the tracks into precarious forms while maintaining a firm hold on its moorings. Accompanied by saxophonist George Garzone, bassist John Lockwood, and drummer Yoron Israel, Sammi delves into geometrically shaped expressions and robust improvisations that fuel the compositions flickering movements and animated jaunts.

The amble swirls of Garzone’s saxophone along the title track and “Encryption” have an elegant stroking while stilt by Sammi’s soft pivoting pickings and caressive musings. The rippling toots of the saxophone in “Prisoner’s Dilemma #1 – Be Quiet” move like squishy puddy creating a lively give and take exchange with the explosive bursts of the guitar while a series of fever-pitch flurries are constructed by the quartet peaking with the angular guitar distortions trellising “Prisoner’s Dilemma #2 – Rat Out” and cradled in the billowing thrusts of the rhythm section. The album turns serene with the gentle island sway of “Ice Cream And Tears, Please” and the placid tempo of “Hallways” which is drenched in cool, lounging esthetics. The album closes out with the peaceful riffs of “Disappeared Friends” seamed in calming rhythmic beats and cupped in gently roaming guitar pickings that inject a pensive mood. Vocalist Eade appears in duet with Sammi on “Ice Cream And Tears, Please” and “Disappeared Friends,” which lends these tracks an additional dimension.

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