I won’t launch myself into the umpteenth tirade against contemporary jazz… or will I? By now every knowledgeable observer realizes how things go today in terms of pre-decided awards, assorted privileges and undeserved covers to (mostly) overrated individuals whose stale music – “thank everybody for the honor, guys” – requires a dose of NoDoz. But I feel as a duty that of obstinately pushing forward a few names warranting a degree of genuineness. Alberto Pinton perseverates in keeping the jazz roots watered with the willingness of exploring new creative avenues; his quartet Noi Siamo (“We Are” in Italian) offers music that stands between the enjoyableness of non-obvious thematic capsules and the raucous lucidity of minds that know where they’re going, which they do without looking back.
Even if the six tracks are authored by the nominal leader, Noi Siamo appears as a democratic unit in the most authentic sense. Rarely a voice prevails on the others; and if that happens, it’s probably due to compositional decisions. Orchestrally speaking, a sharp definition highlights each instrument’s course, thus rendering the act of listening easier for the uninitiated (not a bad thing, if you still dream about the people from the street being fed something musically decent). One hears where a given player is at any moment, gratified in detecting the individual components down to the infinitesimal cell. The solos (and the relative contrapuntal parallelisms) are never tiresome: Pinton definitely knows his “free” chops, but favors rationality over fervid incomprehensibility. Barnö, Zetterberg and Agnas enrich the interplay with respect and realism, constantly conscious of the overall intensity and velocity yet finding ways to disclose their personal inclinations throughout climaxing excitement and more reflective spots.