You may call Alberto Pinton’s music any way except substandard. Open to everybody who wants to have a stab at it, every project retains an organic explicitness which renders the acoustic consequences thoroughly palatable. In Pinton’s sound world, the expertise that could be used as a façade to conceal compositional shortfalls becomes just another facet of aural delectation.
The sextet comprises the leader’s daughter Selma on vocals, somewhat reminiscent of Norma Winstone’s yet still endowed with a definite individuality. The performers exude calm firmness and sincere concern for the depth of expression, the main attribute being an appreciable contrapuntal transparency. A focused listener can literally follow all voices at once, never getting lost in the maze of disorganized emancipation. Everything converges where it should; all the derivations of the general phraseology are equally significant in the musicians’ interpretation of Pinton’s insights. Lucidity and slight obliqueness go hand in hand, and that includes investigations of odd-metered melodicism such as “14 Bars”.
At times light as a feather (“Twelve”), elsewhere distinguished by incisive ponderousness (“Il Carosello”), occasionally tending to shadowiness (“Short Stories”), the interplay reflects the communal striving for a kind of informed innocence that is sorely missed by most of today’s jazz productions. In a sense, Pinton – an unequivocal maestro of anything reed-related, but also a brilliant orchestrator – seems to be willing to turn the idioms he’s more familiar with into chamber-ish hypotheses. Accordingly, the assignment of roles – with a particular mention for Mats Äleklint’s ever-coherent trombone – is flawless, thus emphasizing a remarkable dynamic balance. Then again, one can locate numerous spots to plunge in and get refreshed in these crystalline waters.
Play Layers loud enough, and enjoy the remaining summer days. Even when it rains.