Album Remarks & Appraisals:
New all-star quintet session features trumpeter Enrico Rava, the greatest Italian jazz musician, and his prot g , pianist Stefano Bollani, , together with three leading American jazzmen: master drummer Paul Motian, bassist Larry Grenadier, and, in his ECM debut, saxophonist Mark Turner. The CD is both a transatlantic project and a kind of 'homecoming'. Rava found his musical direction while living in New York in the late 60s/early 70s. Since then an increasingly 'Italian' lyricism has also made itself felt in his playing. Rava's soulful trumpet is strongly contrasted with the lean, analytical playing of Mark Turner. Bollani's playful harmonic imagination shapes bridges between them. Larry Grenadier is "present and focused in every moment" as Rava says, and Paul Motian is as idiosyncratically creative as ever.
Down Beat (p.65) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "NEW YORK DAYS shimmers like a gauzy landscape painting, with Turner's husky, vertical phrases and the hiss of Motian's cymbals and dominant textures."
JazzTimes (p.78) - "Turner is the wild card here....His lines are austere and vertical whereas Rava plays sensuous, free, floating forms."
JazzTimes (p.36) - Ranked #37 in JazzTimes' "Top 50 CDs of 2009."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.100) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Rava, an Italian trumpeter of some repute and a lengthy career, presents seven original recordings that find hip on tip-top form..."
Signal To Noise (magazine) (p.64) - "Following a two-part improvisation in which Rava and Turner exchange roles at the halfway point, the trumpeter concludes with a pair of gorgeous ballads featuring melodies that are more fully formed."
Personnel: Enrico Rava (trumpet); Mark Turner (tenor saxophone); Stefano Bollani (piano); Larry Grenadier (double bass); Paul Motian (drums).
Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY (02/2008).
Photographers: Claire Stefani; Paolo Soriani.
The neo-noir textures of Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava's fine ECM release, NEW YORK DAYS, recall evocative, jazz-based film scores such as Gato Barbieri's LAST TANGO IN PARIS or Miles Davis's ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS. Joined by a stellar cast, including the fine pianist Stefano Bollani, contemporary tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, and the apparently ageless Paul Motian on drums, Rava conjures a rain-soaked, black-and-white urban fantasia on a finely produced, 77-minute set of moody originals. Rava, Turner, and Bollani are all strong stylists, however, so there is little danger of their being fully submerged in the impressionistic dark waters. At times, the sound resembles the post-bop chamber jazz of Miles's celebrated '60s quintet, at others, the upscale European strains of film composer Nino Rota or tango master Astor Piazzolla. Either way, NEW YORK DAYS is one of the outstanding jazz releases of 2009.
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