GIANLUIGI TROVESI/GIANNI COSCIA

In cerca di cibo
ECM 1703

True musical blending involves the melding of two disparate streams and Gianluigi Trovesi is one of the Europeans seeking this fusion. His idea is to link jazz with folk music, which in the Italian context has nothing to do with grinning guys in striped sport shirts, harmonizing to a background of banjos and guitars.

Instead "folk" is heard as pleasant, simple melodies preferred by the masses, which may also have an appreciation for symphonies or jazz. Sometimes "folk" music was even used as the scores for more popular Italian films.

A prodigiously-trained clarinetist who is best-known for his tenure in the Italian Instabile Orchestra, as well as his own melodically avant garde combos, Trovesi has long maintained that a jazzman must come to terms with his local geography. Partnering with mainstream accordionist Coscia on this sprightly and melodious disc he's done just that.

Using themes that range from originals to folk songs to motifs from composer Fiorenzo Carpi's score for a film about Pinocchio, the two create a music that can be appreciated for its courtly bounce as well as it's underlying fine musicianship.

More swinging as it goes along, IN CERCA DI CIBO features such highpoints as a melding of John Lewis' "Django" and the folk song "Donadona"; Coscia's "Tre bimbi di campagna", where miniature courtly dances are driven by piercing clarinet tones; and "El Choclo," a weird tango with Eastern European influences. Even "Celebre Mazurka alterata" ends up sounding more like "Tiger Rag" complete with rhythmic breaks, counterpoint and moody lines than a Polish country dance.

More pointedly, there's no confusing this CD for anything but out-and-out European music. Taken on its own terms, it's valuable as a road map illuminating one of the ways jazz and improvised music will evolve in the 21st century.

— Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. In cerca di cibo 2. Geppetto 3. Villanella 4. Il Postino 5. Minor Dance 6. Pinocchio: in groppa al tonno (piano) 7. Django (Donadona) 8. Pinocchio: in groppa al tonno (forte) 9. Le giostre di Piazza Savona 10. Tre bimbi di campagna 12. Celebre Mazurka alterata 13. Fata Turchina 14. El Choclo 15. In cerca di cibo

Personnel: Gianluigi Trovesi (piccolo, alto and bass clarinets); Gianni Coscia (accordion)