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Album Review

On this disc, drummer Aldo Romano leads an Italian supergroup to revisit some of the Italian folk repertoire. It is also the companion CD to Non Dimenticar, which is based on the same concept. Some songs — such as "O Sole Mio" and "Come Prima" — will be overly familiar to the non-initiated, but listeners also get the opportunity to discover some obscurities from the Italian countryside. The music displays a good share of romanticism and the mood is rather subdued. Only toward the end does the band switch to a higher gear, as on the uplifting closer "Senza Fine." The musicians surrounding Romano are no strangers to the success of this enterprise. Trumpeter Paolo Fresu's playing obviously recalls Miles Davis' muted trumpet, but he is not merely mimicking the master and he brings out the intrinsic quality of the tunes. Pianist Franco D'Andrea and bassist Furio Di Castri's taste and elegance are perfectly suited to the project. After listening to this set, many will be surprised to realize that it was conducted under the leadership of a drummer. Although Romano does leave all the solo spaces to his cohorts, his presence is definitely felt, as he provides the necessary direction. An enjoyable set that proves that Italian songs — just like show tunes — can become jazz standards in their own right.

Canzoni, Aldo Romano Quartet
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