Tell No Lies

May 9, 2023

Hide Nothing
Aut Records AUT 083

Setting playful themes within sophisticated arrangements for a core quintet and guests Bologna-based pianist Nicola Guazzaloca, who has worked with the likes of Szilàrd Mezei, hides nothing as he continues to extend his musical reach. In fact a new element – Gianluca Varone’s magic box/electronics – fits snugly within the approach with the group at octet size on “Junius”.

Arguably the most experimental of his creations, the track named for a 14-year-old Black boy wrongly executed for an unsolved murder in 1944, uses Francesco Guerri’s anguished cello scraping, a dirge-like piano exposition and intersectional atonal cries from tenor saxophonists Edoardo Marraffa and Filippo Orefice and brassy ripples from trombonist Federico Pierantoni to make its initial statement. Later voltage oscillations help the realized exposition to subside into supposed normalcy.

Besides that programmatic statement, individual guests such as Pierantoni (on “Lule” and “Asibiri”) and baritone saxophonist Christian Ferlaino (on “Pachenia/Pomposa”) concentrate thickened, pumping lines into novel directions on other tracks. Ferlaino alternates basement flatulence with split tone snorts, his playing coupled with the two tenorists’ altissimo squeaks and the pianist’s sliding comping creates a Boppy, buzzy exposition that’s part experimental and part euphonious. Meanwhile blustery trombone vamps, especially when coupled with drummer Andrea Grillini’s breaks contribute to the party feel. “Lule” vibrates with a near-danceable beat and both dynamic outings suggest a Mardi Gras parade invaded by a coterie of Free Jazzers.

Without shaving off too many rough edges or becoming too atonal, Guazzaloca and crew have created another session both entertaining and enlightening. Musically you can say he – and they – tell no lies.

–Ken Waxman

Track Listing: Hide: 1. Malatesta 2. Lule’^ 3. Pachenia/Pomposa& 4. Junius+^ 5. Alvez 6. Medea/Levante 7. Asibiri#^

Personnel: Hide: Federico Pierantoni (trombone)^; Federico Eterno (alto saxophone)*; Edoardo Marraffa (tenor, sopranino saxophones); Filippo Orefice (tenor saxophone); Christian Ferlaino (baritone saxophone)&; Nicola Guazzaloca (piano); Francesco Guerri (cello)+; Luca Bernard (bass); Andrea Grillini (drums); Gianluca Varone (magic box/electronics)+