Jazz CD Reviews
Enrico Rava – New York Days – ECM
Published on January 27, 2009
(Enrico Rava, trumpet; Mark Turner, tenor sax; Stefano Bollani, piano; Larry Grenadier, doublebass; Paul Motian, drums)
Rava is probably the best-known Italian jazz musician, a trumpet star who originally played trombone but switched after first hearing Miles Davis. He played with Gato Barbieri and Steve Lacy and currently is based in New York City. This quintet with exceptional Italian pianist Stefano Bollani was founded in 2001, and what stands out on all of the 11 tracks – mostly Rava originals – is the playing of the front liners Rava and saxist Turner. Turner, who is new to the ECM label, has roots in Coltrane and Warne Marsh, and Rava’s style is a bit similar to that of trumpeter Kenny Wheeler. The two seem to have an inspiring connection, and their improvisational ideas are taken up by pianist Bollani in his fine solos, making for an exciting quintet statement. At age 78, drummer Motian is the grand old master of the quintet.
Rava and Bollani are the only two Europeans in the quintet; Rava feels his musical identity is in New York, and American jazz is his frame of reference. He cites the influence of both Duke Ellington and Miles Davis in this album – the first for writing for individual players and the second “for not writing too much at all!” Some of the tracks show the avantgarde side of Rava while others delve into the clear melodic area that could only come from a performer who has done albums based on operas such as Carmen.
TrackList: Lulu, Improvisation I, Outsider, Certi Angoli Segreti, Interiors, Thank You Come Again, Count Dracula, Luna Urbana, Improvisation II, Lady Orlando, Blancasnow.
– John Henry