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Mario Schiano: Benefit Concert to Repurchase the Pendulum for Mr. Foucault

Album Notes

Referencing no doubt the title and content of Umberto Eco's novel, Italian saxophone legend put together this concert in 1989 for Contradiction 3 Festival in Rome. Among the players: trumpet player Pino Minafra, trombonist Radu Malfatti, clarinet wizard Gianluigi Trovesi, bassist Peter Köwald, and drummer Paul Lovens, in addition to Schiano. Divided into seven sections over two sides, this is not one continuous performance, but a series of musical "contradictions" based on ideas put forth by each of the band's members. To call this music free jazz is both to understate and misstate the case: The over-and-micro-tonal investigations here are based on the implications of drama and dynamic, not merely musical idea, or improvisational framework. No one player solos more than any other; in fact, the listener would be hard pressed to find any player soloing at all here. What is transpiring in the course of this concert is simply the exchange of interaction, the political economy of noise as it metalinguisitically translates forms to one another: from the blues, which is echoed most often to Cageian sonic blurt, to post-bop modal ideas to Busoni's variations on B flat. Get real: No, it doesn't swing, but it does move, big time. In fact, it never stands still, so you have to listen close as the small moments of humor and anger intersperse with each other and then disappear into the larger context of this conversation. This is passionate music with uncompromising ideals. Bravo. ~ Thom Jurek


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