NILS GEROLD / NICOLA GUAZZALOCA / STEFANO GIUST – Transition

Setola Di Maiale

This compressed yet impelling CD was recorded live in Bologna at the Scuola Popolare di Musica Ivan Illich. Its “fast kinship” vibe is mirrored across three tracks – one of them very long – in which the struggle to reach insurrectionary climaxes is finely balanced by the choice of interspersing those rampant sections with moments of more pronounced considerateness (in any case typified by a restrained ferment).

It is interesting, from this point of view, to note that none of the partakers is an instrumentalist whose style I’m really acquainted with. In fact – if memory does not betray your chronicler – Nils Gerold’s flute-nourished flights between intricacy and composure, and Stefano Giust’s heterogeneously onward-looking drumming are a definite first time here. Guazzaloca has been a partner in crime of Thollem McDonas in the recent past; still, his pianism – mixing nonfigurative individualism and somewhat unquiet nods to Cecil Taylor’s detonative groove – is something I lent my careful ears to only while approaching this recording, with worthy results.

Another crucial trait in this general vibrancy lies in the perpetual conversion of the sonic flux; from massive blocks of commutual inflammation, the trio pulls out passages where an instrument might linger unhidden amidst quieter perspectives. Not even in the latter zones one receives signals of half-heartedness: propulsive forces are there to be regained when the blood’s pressure goes up again. At times this translates into a sort of “early 70s” experimental mood that sounds quite engaging for this writer.

Honest-to-goodness improvisation with a few minor flaws adding doses of earnestness rather than suggesting rational mismanagement. Don’t lose involvement as you listen, and the rewards will come.

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