Altri Porti

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1 Altri Porti 1:05
2 Vento dal Mare 0:57

My Changes - Tears - Upsetting Line - Nespina - Vento dal Mare - Black - Ricordando Satie - Air - Betania - Altri Porti



Gianmario Liuni (piano, electric piano), Sandro Cerino (soprano sax, bass clarinett, flute, bass flute),

Tito Mangialajo Rantzer (double bass), Alessio Pacifico (drums, percussion)


original compositions and arrangements: Gianmario Liuni


Milano - September 18,19 2002




It is with a sincere passion and interest that I have watched this first important work by Gianmario Liuni germinate and take shape. Not only did Gianmario study with me (and Imust say he was one of the best), his music has also seemed to bring a new note into Italian jazz, which is far too dominated by an excess of manner and cold technique: a calm, light-handed, melancholic note. Despite being influenced by several models of lesser stature than the dominant ones (Paul Bley above all, but also Richard Beirach), Gianmario's notes are never organised along the lines of conventional pre-constituted schemes, but chase each other with difficulty, with a sort of suffered sweetness that gives them weight and meaning. His compositions feature certain aspects that tend to be ignored in Italy these days: a strong vein of melody that gives rise to themes with an unusually swepping scope, ambiguous, disturbing, suspended harmonies, a certain dancing verve (3/4 time is certainly his favourite) with a hint of ethnic echoes (listen to the second part of Vento dal Mare). His way of interpreting the much abused formula of the piano trio also reveals an uncommon maturity and originality. In these cases, it is normally the pianist who carves out the lion's share. But Gianmario Liuni is a composer first and foremost and his talent for composition come across in the cautious, always ‘sensible' progress of his improvvisations, in the continuous dialogue he knows how to establish with the double bass (Tito Mangialajo is so intense here, an authentic Italian Charlie Haden) and the drums (played by a dynamic and creative Alessio Pacifico). He sometimes sets out to serve the other two, such as when (on Nespina and Betania) he offers support to Tito Mangialajo for two beautiful solos, or (on Vento dal Mare and Altri Porti) he provides a reference for Alessio Pacifico to achieve some dynamic crescendos. On other occasions, he does the creating himself, conjuring up some highly evocative atmospheres with just a handful of notes, as on My Changes and Ricordando Satie, the latter a sort of distraught tribute to a maestro of lightness. But he always mantains of the piano trio based on balance and continuous interplay. I cannot conclude this brief presentation without a least mentioning the three tracks (Upsetting Line, Black and Air) where Sandro Cerino provides his impassioned, exciting input, respectively on the soprano sax, the bass clarinet and the flutes. The contrast between the extrovert rule breaker polymath instrumentalist from Naples and the calm, measured mood of Gianmario (both in his compositions and when he is improvising) generates a real shock, but it is a healthy contrast, a note of ferocious folly that is very useful in the midst of this sweet, meditated work.

Arrigo Cappelletti - (liner notes)



Review taken from "Musica Jazz":

Alternating without rigidity the trio to the quartet, the young pianist, apprentice to Arrigo Cappelletti (who sees the cover notes in the record ), undersigns in this work the contours of a great proposal, which is not obvious even when the supporting structures of the composition (everyone made by him) seems to beat grounds, which have already been proved. So we hope we have just found a new colt to depend on for the future. The elements which first catch your's eyes consist of elegance in passages, sense of costruction (whether in the individual piece or in the entire work) and skill in juxtaposition even highly dialectical elements into a design of consistency. So for example in Tears we are struck by the strong melodic tension, whereas in Upsetting Line Cerino's entry (which halves over soprano and clarone) veers the temperature towards funk-like areas; in Nespina, once more in trio (after the start only for the piano), everything becomes thinner and parsimonions; Vento dal Mare has dancing tones; Ricordando Satie has a sing-songt character, nearly hyphmnotic, and so on. Among the most successful events, even if not properly emblematic, as well as Nespina and Vento dal Mare there are also Black ( opened by a soft dialogue between bass clarinet and contrabass and then overheated by a fascinating crescendo of tension ) and Air (with specular prologue and epilogue, highly evocative for the bass flute and the electric piano, to frame a central spread of great dynamical impact). The two final episodes, in trio, sound well constructed, too.

Alberto Bazzurro - "Musica Jazz", year 59°, n°11, November 2003


Recensione di Steven Loewy "Allmusic"