BRUNOD, LI CALZI, SAVOLDELLI – NOSTALGIA PROGRESSIVA – CALIGOLA

Take a guitarist (who also provides some live samples), a trumpeter who also provides flugelhorn and keyboards, and a singer who also provides some electronics and a vocal synth, then put into a studio for one day only to record ten covers of some progressive rock tunes in a way which is both sympathetic and experimental, and this is the result. They mix acoustic guitar and brass with electronic and rock to create something which feels very modern but also at times very dated indeed. It stretches into jazz, particularly on “I Talk To The Wind/Roots”, yet at all times there is the feeling that this is a group of guys who are deeply in love with the music they are performing and want to pay homage while also moving it into a different direction. For the second time in recent months I have come across a cover of one of my favorite songs, namely “Shipbuilding”, here stripped back and taken in a totally different direction to the one which everyone knows, but even Robert Wyatt and composers Elvis Costello and Clive Langer would be impressed with this.

Boris Savoldelli is a well-known jazz singer (as well as a teacher of the form at Venice and Bresica Conservatories of Music), and his confidence in his ability allows Maurizio Brunod and Giorgio Li Calzi to step back and put plenty of space in the accompaniment. I prefer the songs where they don’t bother with electronic percussion but instead take the song into a new direction, such as on “Starless” which has at its core gentle acoustic guitar and jazz vocals (even scat at times) yet is also dominated by trumpet and some wonderful controlled electric guitar notes. The album is fresh, invigorating, exciting and exactly what a covers album should be to my mind as the trio don’t attempt to faithfully replicate what has gone before but instead takes that as a starting point for a new journey. Well worth discovering

8/10 Kev Rowland

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