Over the centuries, Italy has given the world many treasures, many of which originated in Tuscany: art, culture, literature, cuisine and wine. And now, here’s yet another gift from that region: The two jazz Tuscans are back! Ferdinando Argenti (piano) and Enrico Rosa (guitar) are together again, following up on their 2003 album, “To The Old Friendship.” This time they join forces with Dave Clark on bass and Jim Lattini on drums in their new work, “Boston Gig,“ in recognition of Enrico’s recent sojourn in and around Beantown.
The recording opens with “Stress me” an original by Enrico, which opens with an explosive guitar intro leading to the theme. Ferdinando’s intense piano solo is masterfully supported by Dave’s bass and Jim’s drums. You, the listener, will feel no stress.
Next up is “Svezia in Fiamme” (“Sweden in Flames"), another Rosa original, inspired by the Swedish waltzes that have always fascinated him. Enrico’s Swedish flame, Eva, is now his wife.
Then we have Dizzy Gillespie’s “Bebop.” The title says it all! Arranged by Enrico, this returns the quartet to the mainstream, with plenty of room for all four musicians to show their inventiveness.
Ferdinando’s “So, that’s how it is” - a tune reminiscent of Benny Golson's compositions - is testimony to Argenti's great style and creativity. The theme is presented by the guitar played in octaves , providing the melody a special Wes Montgomery flavor , while the Bill Evans-like chord changes give all players an opportunity to once again show their ample skills.
“Dubbio” (“Doubt”) , composed by Enrico , is a fascinatingly intriguing composition; its multiple time signatures indeed give you the idea of a dubious state of mind. Without doubt, all four musicians shine brilliantly throughout the piece.
“Funk in the deep freeze,” arranged by Rosa, is a bluesy , mellow, swinging Hank Mobley tune. The musicians play with such abandon that you'd swear you're listening to a live session .
“Freedom Jazz Dance” - again beautifully arranged by Enrico - provides a new and inspiring version of this great Eddie Harris composition. Guitar and piano breeze in unison through the tough intricate lines of the theme, then suddenly release the tension - freeing the dance! – then slowly and skillfully build it back up, all the while grooving and trading ideas in intense interplay, bringing both bass and drums into the same beautiful game . That's why they call it "playing" an instrument! And these guys definitely can. Mille grazie, Tuscany!