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Young Jazz from Italy DRIVE! @ Barbican FreeStage (2018 EFG LJF)


Giovanni Guidi has previously been involved in Enrico Rava’s soundscape at the 2016 LJF (reviewed), and has made impressionistic jazz piano trio recordings for ECM (also reviewed). This electric trio DRIVE! (a pun on Guidi’s surname?) transported us to a different place. Cymbal rushes (Federico Scettri) and bass echoes (Jon Rehmer) recalled In a Silent Way. Dylan’s A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, developed- a country rock version like Bill Frisell’s, but with simmering Fender Rhodes rather than guitar. The slow, powerful backbeat punctuated the open spaces of Guidi’s playing, with its bursts of blues and distorted overtones. The groove disappeared as the massive drum solo (shades of Eric Harland’s thundering sounds) ricocheted off Guidi’s pulsating notes. The pieces merged into each other, (Paul Motian’s It Should’ve Happened a Long Time Ago was in there somewhere) as Diodati and Bearzatti came onstage for some gentle, spacey funk. Horn melodies grew from the full-on rock feel. Then a simple township-like melody had the crowd singing along, as Lento and Severini joined the band. With young musicians like these, you felt the future of Italian jazz was in good hands- and the audience loved it.

Young Jazz from Italy DRIVE! @ Barbican FreeStage (2018 EFG LJF)

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