FORGIVING JULY – Live At Novara Jazz 2008


Rather ironically, the object of this review was first listened during a devastating downpour that would justify an opposite adjective for the month. This aside, trombonist Angelo Contini, saxophonist Gianni Mimmo and violinist Stefano Pastor are featured in a set where the background details of a nice al fresco evening can be easily identified: after-sunset tweeting birds, a bell tower making its voice heard in the distance at one point. As far as the music is concerned, the menu comprises the sort of on-the-spot composition – or synchronized improvisation, if so preferred – that a well-rehearsed reed/brass/string trio typically delivers without injuries. The instrumental voices mesh the respective grains acceptably, generating paradoxical detours and lyrical segments in which brief moments are taken for the soloists to shine. The collective interplay might not produce the deepest things on the planet, but some of the intricate designs involuntarily born from the simultaneous actions may recall the complexities of ROVA. In general, the idea is that of three performers who smile as they observe the results of their dealings on an audience that – as in every Italian summer festival – seems to be there more to socialize and say “were you at the concert yesterday?” to the colleagues the day after than giving real attention to what the artists are doing. Which, in any case, doesn’t manage to kill the musicians’ good intentions and adequate standards of execution in this decorous release.

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