Recorded at Studio Gimmick on May 19-20, 2005.
Mixed at L'Autre Studio on July 15, 2005
All Music Guide
========= from the cover ==========
Creating that perfect album is as tricky as setting up the heist of a maximum security bank. Plans need time to mature, a milllion dreams are etched out and friends you can trust are kept waiting in the wings. Everything is suspended in time until the right day comes along; then it all swings into action as naturally as can be. Giovanni Mirabassi was bound to succeed, "sooner or later". This 35 year old Italian jazz pianist has been a lone ranger on the French jazz scene for many years. In 1998 he earned widespread critical acclaim by 'breaking into' that scene with the meticulous, high-precision Architectures. In 2001 he made a louder impact with Avanti - a series of revolutionary songs transformed into jazz standards. Then, in 2003, he dared to go one step further with Air, where a three way dialogue between a piano, a trombone and a bugle took flight. Yet Mirabassi remained in the sidelines, waiting for the day when he would make his mark. Now the day has finally come. Mirabassi's accomplices are Louis Moutin - who provides perfect beat craftsmanship, Gildas Bocle who pinches the bass strings and then lets them slide, as well as Flavio Boltro whose trumpet is sharp enough to crack open the hardest of safes. The record is out on a new label, and this influx of oxygen is the final element that has set the ball rolling. Mirabassi has proved wrong all the critics who accused him of 'not playing real jazz', and who chastised him for getting too close to the murky waters of Romanticism. With this successful musical hold up, nine jewels have been snatched up and set free from the musical quagmire they were destined for.
This is a genuine jazz record and it's exactly the kind of jazz you'd want to listen to in 2005. It makes no effort to sound commercial, all the better to engage in a musical exchange with the listener. This jazz is free spirited, groovy and fun. It's well put together yet utterly spontaneous. Some tracks have been inspired by the pulsating rhythms of Brazil (Lloro), others borrow elements from traditional French musette (Hold's moving castle) or float in the midst of a slow, lascivious waltz whose time signature is thrown off kilter by funk inflections (Tot on Sard). This track is rounded off with a nod in Petrucciani's direction in the form of a scintillating chorus. Jazz is the driving force behind all these creations. This jazz is wound up tightly for fuller effect but never tries to wind the listener up. Lyricism and nostalgia simmer under the surface - they are now the shades and basic elements of a playing and writing style the artist is now fullly comfortable with. Like so many children of the ECM generation, Mirabassi grew up on people like Corea, Jarrett and Gismonti. He also 'got acquainted' with Schumann and Bill Evans and has mixed all this with Parker and Baker. In a nutshell, he's built his own identity thanks to all those great musicians. Sooner or later everyone was going to be in the know - purely, simply and shamelessly.
Mirabassi has cleaned out his childhoood closet and has kept only the very best possessions, as if he were embarking on a long journey. This is what I once was (Ero Io), and this is what I am -who knows what the future will bring. This recording features a Barcarole which is played in a 6/8 time that has a definite African twist (Barcarole), a score from his younger days enthused with 'Corean' grace (Minor Voyage), a tribute to Mirabassi's great uncle who was a butcher and an adventurer (Il Bandolero Stanco), a nervous symphony (Symphomaniax), a killer Toccata (Lloro) and finally a dreamy film score (Howl's Moving Castle by Myazaki). Above all, this music is basking in the sheer joy of just being alive. Sooner or later someone was going to have to wade into the troubled waters once navigated by Evans and Chet without being afraid of getting wet. And yes, someone has finally made it! A domani Giovanni.
- Bruno Costemalle