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Eclectic Earwig Reviews

Tino Tracanna & Corrado Guarino, Gesualdo (71:48); CDH 677.2, 1999
SPLASC(H) Records
Contact: Luigi Santosuosso, Grand Wazoo Productions
Flat 2, 15 St. Stephens Gardens
London W2 5QU
E-mail: grand.wazoo@pobox.com

        This is an Italian crew playing music of Italian pedigree, and 
playing it with an impeccably contemporary jazz flair. Five of the 
nine tracks are by Gesualdo da Venosa, a post-Renaissance composer 
whose dates are 1560-1613. The remaining four tracks were inspired by 
Gesualdo but composed by conductor/arranger Corrado Guarino, except 
for "Itene," by saxophonist Tino Tracanna. Guarino also arranged the 
Gesualdo pieces.
	Jazz has been borrowing from classical music for decades, but 
seldom has anyone gone back as far as the 16th century. Indeed, you 
might consider an Italian madrigal composer an unlikely source of 
inspiration for modern jazz musicians. But the press packet explains 
that Gesualdo was "at the crossroads between modal and tonal 
conceptions of Western music." And the liner notes further explain 
that the modal/tonal encounter is "strikingly evident in 
Afro-American music." Jazz and baroque therefore have something to 
offer one another. It makes sense. I've often heard hints of 
pre-modern harmony in the music of trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, for 
	The instrumentation chosen for this project is quite similar 
to the "double quartet" used by saxophonist Ted Nash on his brilliant 
CD Rhyme & Reason (Arabesque, 1999). Hip jazz tempos and time 
feels - always latin- or funk-derived, never swing - coexist with 
bona fide early chamber music. Strings play background lines behind 
soloists in the manner of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Maria 
Pia De Vito is clearly a trained classical singer but can scat with 
the best of them, as she does on "Sol," "Chi," and "S� gioioso mi 
fanni i dolor miei." And Tracanna's tenor and soprano solos are 
consistently riveting, perfectly suiting the mood of each piece. 
Claudio Pontiggia's deft French horn solos also deserve mention. All 
the while, the jazz/baroque juxtaposition is never forced or 
contrived. The elements inform one another seamlessly, almost 
~David R. Adler, 1/6/00

Personnel: Maria Pia De Vito, voice; Tino Tracanna, tenor and soprano 
saxes; Claudio Pontiggia, french horn; Riccardo Parrucci, flute; 
Gloria Merani, violin; Alessandro Franconi, viola; Filippo 
Burchietti, cello; Paolino Dalla Porta, bass; Francesco Petreni, 
drums; Fulvio Maras, percussion; Corrado Guarino, conducting and 
arrangements, except "Itene," by Tino Tracanna.

Tracks: 1. Se vi duol il mio duolo (Gesualdo) 2. S� (Guarino) 3. S� 
gioioso mi fanni i dolor miei (Gesualdo) 4. Oh, dolce mio tesoro 
(Gesualdo) 5. Ancide sol la morte (Gesualdo) 6. Sol (Guarino) 7. 
Itene (Tracanna) 8. Chi (Guarino) 9. Moro lasso al mio duolo 

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