ANDREA MORELLI — Black Lands - A tribute to Africa (review)

ANDREA MORELLI — Black Lands - A tribute to Africa album cover Album · 2018 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
paperoga58
Take a classical and heterodox pianist, author of singular research on African cultured music, with a curriculum of over five hundred concerts and about fifteen discs in the studio and live. Add an imaginative and evocative saxophonist of equally long course with a lasting interest in modal jazz of African-American character. You will have in your hands Black Lands: A Tribute to Africa, disc entirely designed, made and produced in Sardinia, released last June of this 2018. Silvia Belfiore at the piano and Andrea Morelli at the winds deliver a beautiful and unusual record, very far from a long theory of jazz productions of great technical and compositional qualities but with reiterated and commercially reliable contents. We were talking about cultured African music, that is of music intentionally left in writing by contemporary composers of the continent. Works that find their roots in the oral and musical traditions otherwise not noted, exempt from aesthetic extemporaneousness and related to specific ritual and social circumstances of work, nomadism, marriage, death. The field research and the interpretations of Silvia Belfiore therefore go to compose the entire structure of absolute formal and executive rigor on which Andrea Morelli inserts his infinite melodic textures of improvisations and steps of scale.

The genesis of the title attributed to the album is passed by a denotative Mysterious Adventure to a more representative Black Landscapes, finally arriving at the now known Black Lands. And of purely black territories it is in fact, without the possibility of misunderstanding with western artistic interference except for the mere coming from Belfiore and Morelli from the island of Sardinia. An amazing work of a strongly identity nature, Black Lands consists of ten pieces executed at high level without interruption, qualified by an intense rhythmic component that finds its apex in the splendid Ukom on scores for talking drums by Nigerian Joshua Uzoigwe and in rhythms chasing broken Herero Wedding Dance on music by the Ghanese Fred Onovwerosuoke. In the album there are also three tributes: to Duke Ellington (Fleurette Africaine) to Abdullah Ibrahim (The Wedding) and John Cage (Mysterious Adventure), with the intimate final cameo of Andrea Morelli dedicated to Asmara, his city of choice and frequent returns, to close this latest production unexpected and of great value. Vanni Boni

Prendete una pianista classica e eterodossa, autrice di singolari ricerche sulla musica colta africana, con un curriculum di oltre cinquecento concerti e una quindicina tra dischi in studio e dal vivo. Aggiungete un sassofonista immaginifico e evocativo d’altrettanto lungo corso con un duraturo interesse per il jazz modale di impronta afro-americana. Avrete tra le mani Black Lands: A Tribute to Africa, disco interamente pensato, realizzato e prodotto in Sardegna, uscito lo scorso mese di giugno di questo 2018. Silvia Belfiore al pianoforte e Andrea Morelli ai fiati consegnano un disco bellissimo e inusuale, ben discosto da una lunga teoria di produzioni jazzistiche di grandi qualità tecniche e compositive ma dai contenuti reiterati e commercialmente affidabili. Dicevamo di musica africana colta, ossia di musica lasciata volutamente in forma scritta da compositori contemporanei del continente. Opere che trovano le proprie radici nelle tradizioni orali e musicali altrimenti non annotate, esenti da estemporaneità estetizzanti e correlate a specifiche circostanze rituali e sociali di lavoro, nomadismo, matrimonio, morte. Le ricerche sul campo e le interpretazioni di Silvia Belfiore vanno dunque a comporre l’intera struttura di assoluto rigore formale e esecutivo sulla quale Andrea Morelli inserisce le proprie infinite trame melodiche di improvvisazioni e salti di scala.

La genesi del titolo attribuito al disco è transitata da un denotativo Mysterious Adventure a un più rappresentativo Black Landscapes, approdando infine al Black Lands ora conosciuto. E di territori puramente neri infatti si tratta, senza possibilità di equivoco con interferenze artistiche occidentali eccezion fatta per il mero provenire di Belfiore e Morelli dall’isola di Sardegna. Opera sorprendente, di natura fortemente identitaria, Black Lands è costituito da dieci pezzi eseguiti ad elevato livello senza soluzione di continuità, qualificati da un’intensa componente ritmica che trova il suo apice nello splendido Ukom su partiture per talking drums del nigeriano Joshua Uzoigwe e nei ritmi a inseguirsi spezzati di Herero Wedding Dance su musiche del ghanese Fred Onovwerosuoke. Nel disco anche tre omaggi: a Duke Ellington (Fleurette Africaine) ad Abdullah Ibrahim (The Wedding) e John Cage (Mysterious Adventure), con l’intimo cameo finale di Andrea Morelli dedicato ad Asmara, sua città di elezione e di frequenti ritorni, a chiudere questa recentissima produzione inattesa e di gran pregio. Vanni Boni
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