ENRICO RAVA — Pupa O Crisalide (review)

ENRICO RAVA — Pupa O Crisalide album cover Album · 1975 · Post Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Italy is a great land for romantic music.For classics and ballads.Jazz (as well as rock) are both aliens there, few successful experiments are just exemptions,confirming the main rule.

Enrico Rava was first Italian jazz artist,representing the country at international level.He was born in Trieste in 1939 - I know this town well, and believe me - it is not real Italy!Being independent town-state for years (last time - for some years after WWII),with long history being a part of Austria, this place is a strange mix of Roman and Germanic culture (with light Balkan flavor and Adriatic breeze as two important ingredients).At the same time it has that characteristic Adriatic coastal town atmosphere with central city square opened to sea, narrow streets,all coming from hilly suburbs to central square and smell of roasted chestnuts on every yard in August...Rava's music at its best is a product of this town - mix of Central European and Italian culture with scent of Adriatic spirit.

Rava's early works are strongly influenced by Miles Davis music and (fortunately!) almost don't include that honey-sweet South European melodies and over-emotional sentimentality that can destroy even good composition."Pupa O Crisalide " was recorded with three different ensembles in three different continents and naturally contains quite various music.

Album's opener and closer both were recorded in Rome with Italian musicians, and are closest to Rava's later "Italian recordings". Still Miles Davis influences are obvious.Rest of vinyl side A was recorded in New York with American septet (including such musicians as John Abercrombie (on electric guitar) and drummer Jack DeJohnette),them are strongest albums part. Similar to Miles Davis electric fusion period,music here is a bit warmer,more aerial and a bit softer, but sounds excellent (if not extremely original).

Two left album's compositions were recorded in Buenos Aires with Argentinian musicians and contains music,influenced by Latin fusion. Overall album is very variable and has some really strong moments.Very soon Enrico will start working for ECM and his music will become much more predictable.

One strong Italian jazz album and excellent entry to Enrico Rava music.
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Matt wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I have his 2004 release "Easy Living" on ECM by him Slava and a really nice album it is. Heard a couple of others from his recent ones but Easy Living I liked the best by a mile.
snobb wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I almost agree - only Germany is different.Jazz (and rock) in Southern European countries usually is strongly influenced by centuries of their music tradition (harmonic and melodic both classics and folklore). You can hear it in Italy first of all,but in Spain,in part in France and in Balkans as well.
idlero wrote:
more than 2 years ago
My feeling is that what you describe is characteristic for other european countries too - France, Spain, Germany, etc.... With the exception of Norway and Sweden and UK you have the same situation of jazz in most european countries
snobb wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I agree there are many Italian jazz musicians but they are mostly known and influential on domestic market.Italian fantastic legacy and tradition in opera and classical music influences too much their more modern musical arts: their rock is usually mix of pop and classics in rock arrangements, their jazz is often well pre-composed half-pop half classical pieces,cheesy and polished to death with no place for improvisation.Some exemptions fortunately exists, but only a few to say the truth.
idlero wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Italian jazz is not exactly alien, maybe it doesn't reach the popularity of opera, classical, or pop music but Gianluigi Troveso, Enrico Pieranunzi, Paolo Fresu, Stefano Battaglia, Rita Marcotulli are only some of the names of talented italian jazz artists.


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