|Open On Sunday|
|Parco della Musica Jazz Orchestra & Maurizio Giammarco|
|Maurizio Giammarco (conduction, saxes)|
Parco della Musica Jazz Orchestra
|(From Down Beat 11-11, 4 stars review by Kirk Silsbee)|
Rome-based PMJO boasts a half-dozen fine composers and arrangers. The cumulative musical profile is that of a brainy organizatio whose writers reach for the difficult and demanding but never lapse into the unmusical. Contrapuntal brass and reeds, rhythmic complexity, rising and falling lines, the ability to let the rhythm section play alone - and the pieces therefore breathe - are some of the PMJO's hallmarks. Composer/arranger Maurizio Giammarco emerges as the strong horse. His "Blues & Violets" is a marvel of cyclical, interlocking lines and sections. The stop-time reed/brass waterfall on Giammarco's otherwisw swinging "G-Pleasure" is brief but galvanizing. The Band is stocked with capable musicians. Execution is uniformly clean and played with great verve. If the composite writing outweighs the solos, there are also first-rate instrumental voices. Giammarco's vibrato-laden tenor sounds a little quaint on mario Corvini's "Ellos Quedan". Trumpeter Claudio Corvini renders a soulful statement on the former, bops admirably on "G.Pleasure", and sings beautifully over Mario Corvini's floating, pastel reed charts on "Red Wine". Pianist Pino Iodice's swinging workout on "New Identity" begs for a trio setting. Programmatically, the second disc drags a bit. Meandering themes and middling tempos don't make for exiting listening. The funk bite of "Aires Pics" busts out of the doldrums as Luca Pirozzi's churning electric bass underpins the punching brass. Trombonist Massimo Pirone turns in a near-galvanizing feature on Giammarco's "Vortex Waltz", an ontricate theme whose interlocking sections conjure a Piranese labyrinth.