ECO D’ALBERI – Eco D’Alberi


An all-Italian quartet at their debut album in this lineup, Eco D’Alberi (which means “Echo Of Trees”, the name influenced by Henry Dumas’ novel “Echo Tree”) consists of saxophonist Edoardo Marraffa, pianist Alberto Braida, double bassist Alberto Borghini and drummer Fabrizio Spera. Presenting four live tracks – recorded in different festivals in New York, Pisa and Zurich – the group is pushed by a vivid freedom of speech regulated by experience, sensibility and knowledge of past tradition. Marraffa – a gifted instrumentalist, rich in fantasy and uncontrollability, to whom I’ve culpably arrived late – is the predominant voice, his excursions with tenor and sopranino paving the way for the consideration and utter esteem of phrases that sound both articulate and uneducable; a cross of squealing rage, finesse and irony, buckets of iced water thrown in the face of reed-fuelled humdrum. Braida is very good at sustaining the harmonic architecture without excess of overflow, maintaining control even in the moments where collective exhilaration would risk to shove less mature musicians towards an undesired chaos. Borghini moves behind the scenes with classy nonchalance, still managing to get noticed as the chance appears, daintily arcoed junctures and improvisational intuitions as constituents of a silently effective personality. Spera’s strategic placement of rhythmic traps and constant generation of uneven percussive gradations confirm him as a performer endowed with brain, a drumming composer working side by side with equally talented comrades in a broad-minded approach to an exciting form of no-brand, totally honest eruptive jazz interspersed with a few quieter segments.

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