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Palatino Chap. 3

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Album Review

All four members of the collective calling itself Palatino have often carved out niches that place them just outside popular currents, and this one is no exception. There is a gentle though propulsive quality to the pianoless quartet that relies on the unusual instrumentation of trombone, trumpet, bass, and drums. All the tunes are originals by each of these seasoned bandmembers, except Tadd Dameron's "On a Misty Night." This is the sort of fare that grows on you, the kind that requires close attention to appreciate its nuances. The short lengths of the tunes prevent any meandering, though there is a sameness to some of the pieces as a result of the limited instrumentation. The two horns, trombonist Glenn Ferris and trumpeter Paolo Fresu, are stylistically similar, each offering understated and clearly articulated improvisations — clean, sparse, and economical. A good example of how good they can sound together comes on Ferris' "Sud-Ouest Jump," taken at a brisk clip with the horns soloing together intimately and intricately, the harmonies tight and crisp. Another winner is Romano's "Sapore di Si Minore" with its nostalgic laid-back ambience, 1950s-like solo from Fresu, and a beautiful muted contribution from the trombonist. Throughout, Romano carefully navigates, never letting the core explode and keeping the focus on an easy delicacy. Bassist Michel Benita plays an important part harmonically, and his short "Juke" gives Romano some breathing space, which complements his solo feature on his own "Drum Strum." The Dameron piece, which closes the album, features some particularly inspired work from Ferris.


Born: 16 January 1941 in Belluno, Italy

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Although born in Italy, Aldo Romano moved to France with his family at a young age. He was already playing guitar and drums professionally in Paris in the '50s when he heard Donald Byrd's group with drummer Arthur Taylor. Since then, he has dedicated himself to the drums and contemporary jazz. In Paris jazz clubs like le Chat Qui Pêche and the Caméléon, Romano has accompanied visiting Americans like Jackie McLean, Bud Powell, Lucky Thompson, J.J. Johnson, and Woody Shaw while also exploring free...
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Palatino Chap. 3, Aldo Romano
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