Reviews that mention Giovanni Maier

March 23, 2019

Roberto Ottaviano

Eternal Love
Dodicilune Dischi Ed 411

A fine instance of how to construct a Jazz Repertory session without resorting to deification or imitation is this slick, foot-tapping, nine-track session by veteran Italian soprano saxophonist Roberto Ottaviano. The saxophonist, who has wo4ekd with multiple Jazzers, including Mal Waldron and Aldo Romano, leads a quintet in homage not only to his main influence, John Coltrane – on “Your Lady” – but also with particular takes on other Jazz heroes. Curiously, like a select group of Northern-Italian players, including Daniele Cavallanti, Carlo Actis and Tiziano Tononi, Ottaviano also has an affinity for African-oriented sounds, and most of tracks, beginning with “Uhuru”, the first, represent this sound imagery through compositions by Charlie Haden Abdullah Ibrahim, Dewey Redman, Elton Dean and Don Cherry MORE

September 1, 2018

Cene Resnik Trio/Watch for Dogs

Shades of Colors
NotTwo MW 959-2

Igor Lumpert & Innertexture

Eleven

Clean Feed CF 462 CD

Confirmation once again of the universality of improvised music, as well as testimony that heightened creativity may result from a shared background, are these CDs headed by Slovenian tenor saxophonists. Arguably that part of the former Yugoslavia, which has benefitted the most from that patched-together country’s break-up, since its birth in 1991 the new country has flourished, with an unexpected by-product exposure for adventurous musicians. MORE

April 12, 2018

Booklet Notes for

Giust/De Mattia/Pacorig/Maier
Desidero Vedeere, Sento

By Ken Waxman

Quietly yet decisively, a new generation of Italian improvisers has made its presence felt internationally during the past decade and a half, definitely including the four who created the suite that makes up this memorable disc. These players can be termed the DIY generation since their age and experience mandates self-reliance, characterized by among other things, Setola di Maiale, percussionist Stefano Giust’s Bologna-based label that release many of their projects. MORE

March 11, 2017

Kača, Sraka in Lev Quintet

The Labour Suite
No Label No #

Dre Hocevar

Transcendental Within the Sphere of Indivisible Remainder

Clean Feed CF 393 CD

Samo Salamon & Stefano Battaglia

windS

Klopotec Records IZK CD 037

Szilárd Mezei Septet

CET

Oradek Records ODR CD 506

Girotto/De Mattia/Cesseli/Kaučic

Il Sogno Di Una Cosa

Caligola 2213

Something In The Air: Slovenia – of all places – Continues its Long Jazz Tradition MORE

December 1, 2016

Zlatko Kaučič Cerkno Jubileum Orchestra

In Memory of Boštjan Cvek
Klopotec IZK CD 040

Large Unit

Ana

PNL Records PNL 033

Large ensemble organizers are comparable to climbers of Mount Everest: they continue to brave the preparation and discomfort that goes into formulating the ascent for the fulfillment of the completed task. Still despite 21st century socio-economic considerations big bands are still formulated, but with the proviso that for every touring unit literally 100 others come together briefly for a particular program. The ensembles here, each coincidentally led by a percussionist, reflect both side of this equation. Subsidized by merchandise sales, government aid and his own gumption, in between his many other commitments, Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love has kept his Large Unit on the road since 2013. Ana is a distinctive part of its discography because his three compositions add Brazilian rhythms played by Brazilian percussionists to his band already made up of musicians from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. MORE

November 21, 2016

Disorder at the Border

Plays Ornette
NotTwo MW 943-2

D’Agaro/De Mattia/Maier

Tea Time

Rudi Records RRJ 1030

Like dealing with an experimental scientific formula, altering just one aspect of a musical formation can result in a completely different, if equally satisfying compound. So it is with these two CDs here. Both feature two of Northern Italy’s most accomplished players, multi-reedist Daniele D'Agaro and double bassist Giovanni Maier. Yet altering the third angle of the improvisational triangle creates a situation where the formulae barely resemble one another. MORE

November 21, 2016

D’Agaro/De Mattia/Maier

Tea Time
Rudi Records RRJ 1030

Disorder at the Border

Plays Ornette

NotTwo MW 943-2

Like dealing with an experimental scientific formula, altering just one aspect of a musical formation can result in a completely different, if equally satisfying compound. So it is with these two CDs here. Both feature two of Northern Italy’s most accomplished players, multi-reedist Daniele D'Agaro and double bassist Giovanni Maier. Yet altering the third angle of the improvisational triangle creates a situation where the formulae barely resemble one another. MORE

December 26, 2015

Daniele D’Agaro/Giovanni Maier/Zlatko Kaučič

Disorder at the Border
Palomar Records 50

The Wisseltangcamatta

Movements

Creative Sources CS 301 CD

Like a changing room mirror that can highlight different aspects of a garment, improvised music continues to reveal unique textures in the 21st century. The wide scope of what designates the genus is such that two CDs of improvised music can be unlike in conception and performance, as these reeds-double bass-percussion sessions demonstrate.

Related to the Free Jazz branch of the music Disorder at the Border features three European musical masters in a prolonged improvisation cheekily named for Coleman Hawkins’ 1952 recording. The players are two Italians: tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Daniele D’Agaro and bassist Giovanni Maier, plus Slovenian percussionist Zlatko Kaučič, all of whom have played together in various configurations as well as with a cross section of Euro-Improvisers. Recorded in Divaiča, Slovenia the six-part suite could never be confused with Movements’ five improvisations documented in Köln less than two months later. Titled with jumbled letters, the movements are played by three Germans: Georg Wissel on prepared alto saxophone and clarinet; double bassist Achim Tang and Simon Camatta on drums and percussion. The rhythm section especially is conversant with other sub-genres from Rock-improv to straight-ahead Jazz, but all three happily immerse themselves in Free Music like ocean swimmers on a boiling day. MORE

December 16, 2015

Orcheatra Senza Confini/Orkester Brez Meja

Orcheatra Senza Confini/Orkester Brez Meja
Dobialabel

Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin

Ichigo Ichie

Libra Records 212

Circum Grand Orchestra

12

Circum-Disc CD 1401

Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris

Possible Universe

NBR SA Jazz 014

Bertrand Denzler/Onceim

Morph

Confront ccs 37

Something In The Air: Big Bands Redux

By Ken Waxman

Although most people associate big bands with the Swing Era dances and later, jazzier, manifestations such as Nimmons’n’Nine and The Boss Brass, despite the dearth of venues and difficulties of keeping even a combo working steadily, musicians persist in utilizing large ensembles. Like muralists who prefer the magnitude of a large canvas, composers, arrangers and players appreciate the colours and breath available using numerous, well-balanced instruments. MORE

April 11, 2013

Cojaniz/Maier/Kaučič

Dreiländer Trio
Palomar Records 39

Jeff Davis

Leaf House

Fresh Sound New Talent FSNW407

Michel Lambert

Journal Des Épisodes

Rant 1244

Gabriela Friedli Trio

Started

Intakt CD 214

Something In The Air: New Takes on the Jazz Piano Trio Tradition

By Ken Waxman

Having arguably reached its zenith of popularity in the 1960s, with the legendary Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans combos, the piano, bass and drums trio continues to be the sine qua non for countless improvisers. But with any jazz trio performance weighted with the configuration’s illustrious history, it’s up to contemporary players to create a distinct musical personality. MORE

July 28, 2010

Zlatko Kaučič

Koncerti ob 30-letnici/30th Anniversary Concerts
Splasc (H) Records CDH 2525.2/CDH 2526.2/CDH 2527.2

For slightly less than two decades, percussionist Zlatko Kaučič has made his home back in his native Slovenia and in the process intensified the connections of the country’s somewhat isolated improvised musicians with their peers from other parts of the world.

Because his musical odyssey during the preceding 15 years took him to Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and the Netherlands, Kaučič now has the status of both a musical ambassador for his country as well as someone connecting Slovenia’s traditional and modern sounds with contemporary music. This three-CD set, commemorating his 30 years as a professional was recorded at three different local festivals. It’s instructive as well as inventive, for each CD finds Kaučič playing with different partners. MORE

January 6, 2010

Anthony Braxton + Italian Instabile Orchestra

Creative Orchestra (Bolzano) 2007
RAI Trade RTP J0013

Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra

GIOPoetics

Creative Sources CS 114 CD

Creating large form improvisations involving groups of musicians in polyphonic agreement without losing the spontaneity implicit in smaller groups has long been a challenge for composers. Many methods have been tried in order to introduce and maintain sonic freedom when the ensemble is larger than the standard 16-piece Jazz band. These mostly European sessions outline two successful ways of doing so. MORE

January 6, 2010

Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra

Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra GIOPoetics
Creative Sources CS 114 CD

Anthony Braxton + Italian Instabile Orchestra

Creative Orchestra (Bolzano) 2007

RAI Trade RTP J0013

Creating large form improvisations involving groups of musicians in polyphonic agreement without losing the spontaneity implicit in smaller groups has long been a challenge for composers. Many methods have been tried in order to introduce and maintain sonic freedom when the ensemble is larger than the standard 16-piece Jazz band. These mostly European sessions outline two successful ways of doing so. MORE

August 26, 2008

Francesco Branciamore

TRIUM
Caligola 2090

Fabrizio Puglisi/Giovanni Maier/Sebi Tramontana

Moon Extermination

Jazzrecords 003

One of the challenges facing improvised music in this century is discovering original arenas in which to express new ideas. Creation of non-traditional groupings is one of the better strategies, as these notable discs prove. Unlike the standard horn-plus rhythm make up, Moon Extermination matches trombone with acoustic bass and a vintage (circa 1970s) Arp Odyssey synthesizer. TRIUM on the other hand is lead by a drummer, but his confreres are two brass men. MORE

August 26, 2008

Fabrizio Puglisi/Giovanni Maier/Sebi Tramontana

Moon Extermination
Jazzrecords 003

Francesco Branciamore

TRIUM

Caligola 2090

One of the challenges facing improvised music in this century is discovering original arenas in which to express new ideas. Creation of non-traditional groupings is one of the better strategies, as these notable discs prove. Unlike the standard horn-plus rhythm make up, Moon Extermination matches trombone with acoustic bass and a vintage (circa 1970s) Arp Odyssey synthesizer. TRIUM on the other hand is lead by a drummer, but his confreres are two brass men. MORE

June 22, 2006

Umberto Petrin

Voir Loin
Spasc(H) CDH 832.2

As involved with poetry and visual art as music, Italian pianist Umberto Petrin has long been concerned with a melding of these three lively arts. A published poet as well as a painter, his collaborations have ranged from those with metaphysical painter Walter Lazzaro and Italian poet Luigi Pasotelli to expected ones with top-flight improvising musicians such as alto saxophonist Lee Konitz and trombonist Giancarlo Schiaffini – not to mention his membership in the Italian Instabile Orchestra. MORE

October 16, 2005

Tiziano Tononi & the Ornettians

Peace Warriors Vol. 1
Black Saint

Adamo/Corbini/Maier
Playing with Eric
Splasc (H)

By Ken Waxman
October 16, 2005

Yin and yang of Free Jazz’s first generation of alto saxophonists, the authority and innovation Eric Dolphy and Ornette Coleman both brought to the music makes them often celebrated figures, despite Dolphy’s untimely death 41 years ago, and Coleman’s quirky and infrequent public appearances.

Because of fusion and neo-con indifference, though, many jazzers haven’t really noticed just how different Coleman and Dolphy are and were. On these CDs however, an Italian trio of a pianist, a violinist and a double bassist confirm Dolphy’s innate progressive conservatism with Playing with Eric; while percussionist Tiziano Tononi’s sextet substantiates the ongoing challenge of Coleman’s compositions on its Peace Warriors, Vol. 1. MORE

September 20, 2004

CECIL TAYLOR & THE ITALIAN INSTABILE ORCHESTRA

The Owner Of The River Bank
Justin Time/Enja JENJ 3317-2

Probably the first musician who legitimately melded African-American improvisational skills with hyper-European instrumental prowess, Cecil Taylor is a true citizen of the world.

Lionized as a combo leader and soloist, the now 75-year-old’s orchestral talents are less well known, since rehearsing any large band is time-consuming and expensive. Luckily as part of the celebration of the Italian Instabile Orchestra (IIO)’s 10th anniversary, the Talos Festival in Puglia, Italy’s arranged for this match up. The result gives Taylor the largest collection of orchestral colors to work with since he soloed with Michael Mantler’s 21-piece band on COMMUNICATIONS in 1968. MORE

August 23, 2004

STEFANO MALTESE OPEN SKY ORCHESTRA

Hanging In The Sky
Splasc (H) CDH 139.2

Touted as the progenitor of the Italian Instabile Orchestra (IIO), Sicilian reedist Stefano Maltese’s Open Music Orchestra (OMO) was so only the way the Washingtonians begat Duke Ellington’s Famous Orchestra or the Cro Magnon was an ancestor to the Homo Spain.

As this reissue from 1987 shows, rather than being a slimmed down version of the 19-member IIO, the 10-piece OMO came from an entirely different and more singular place. Vehicles to express the ideas of Maltese, OMO compositions were less overtly Italian than those played by the IIO. Instead they reflected his personal amalgamation of languid Cool predilections and the stop-time blusiness that characterized some of Ellington’s work. Also, while several later IIO musicians -- including trumpeter Pino Minafra, reedist Carlo Actis Dato and trombonist Sebi Tramontana -- were in the OMO, it’s overriding voice -- literally -- was that of vocalist Giocondo Clio. MORE

July 19, 2004

ROBERTO OTTAVIANO

Pow Wow
Splasc(H) CDH 853.2

Not fully committed to the mainstream but certainly no avant gardist, Italian soprano saxophonist Roberto Ottaviano finds himself in a prototypical situation for a 40-something reedist.

Luckily the native of Bari can turn his interest in various musical streams to his advantage. On a fine CD like this one, made up mostly of his own compositions, he can be like a diner at a fine buffet, putting different condiments on his plate for a more balanced meal. Thus, the repast includes a homage to the American ballad, folkloric suggestions through percussion sounds and his lyrical reed solos, pre-modern trombone work, straightahead jazz from a walking bassist and on-the-beat drummer, and modernistic decorations from the synthesizer and electric piano. MORE

February 16, 2004

ALBERTO TACCHINI

Drops
Splasc(h) CDH 796.2

A hopefully reversible backwards step for Alberto Tacchini, this CD seems to call into question all the impressive work the young Italian pianist has contributed to the projects he has recorded with master percussionist Tiziano Tononi.

While his 2000 duo CD with Tononi and his restrained accompaniment as part of the percussionist’s Nexus Orchestra could be faulted for excessive airy Impressionism, as shown some tracks here, that begins to resemble hard-core jazz when compared to the rest of the disc. Somehow, Tacchini and three other hitherto noteworthy Italian jazzers, have opted this time out to expend their energy on creating derivative, fusion-style sounds. MORE

September 29, 2003

NEXUS ORCHESTRA

Seize the time!
Splasc(h) CDH 841/842

During the years since its founding in December of 1980, the Milanese band Nexus has always stood at a little distance from many of the other Italian aggregations.

Although its leaders, saxophonist Daniele Cavallanti and percussionist Tiziano Tononi, were so a much part of the flowering of original local improv scene that both have been part of the Italian Instabile Orchestra from its beginnings, they never had the overriding commitment to Mediterranean folklore that galvanized many other musicians. At the same time they didn’t fit in with the old bebopers or Young Lions who took their cues from American jazz. MORE

August 18, 2003

GIORGIO PACCORIG

My Mind is on the Table
Splasc (H) Records CDH 782.2

DECEMBER THIRTY JAZZ TRIO
Free For 3
Jazz’halo TS 017

Blood still pulses through the body of the traditional jazz piano trio. But, as these two Italian groups prove, you have to give the corpus a POMO vitamin and mineral transfusion for the physique to be as lively as it was in the past.

Each band does that here in a different way. Pianist Giorgio Pacorig’s crew, completed by bassist Giovanni Maier and drummer Zeno de Rossi does so by mixing mid-tempo originals with sprightly recreations of modern standards and one giveaway salute. Each of the players also has enough work in other aggregations to make this session a breezy busman’s holiday. MORE

January 27, 2003

G.R.F.J. 1966

Free Jazz at the Philharmonic
Splasc (H) CDH 526.2

MARIO SCHIANO
Supposing That…
Splasc (H) CDH 838

Should anyone be designated as the father of avant-garde jazz in Italy then it’s soprano and alto saxophonist Mario Schiano.

Born in Naples in 1933 and a resident of Rome since 1960, Schiano can be heard as Italy’s John Coltrane or Ornette Coleman. Like Trane he abandoned a career in mainstream jazz to pursue the sort of experimental improvisational forms expatriate Americans such as soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy and pocket trumpeter Don Cherry brought to Roman jam sessions with him in the early 1960s. MORE