Wednesday 15 March 2023

Posted by Gerry Hectic | File under : , , ,

I'm told 2023 has lots of significant astronomical events for us, including solar eclipses, meteor showers, a bright comet passing the Earth and many more but here at YATM, we're looking at 'Beyond The Sky' by Italian drummer/percussionist, Pippo D'Ambrosio.

Pippo has appeared on many albums but this is his follow up to his 'A Peaceful Place' (2020) album and it's also based on a concept, this time inspired by man's relationship with the greater Universe.

But don't exect any Sun Ra 'out there' jazz, although ('Andromeda' does go a bit synthy spacey) as this is a generally laid back jazz album with strong modern influences with elements of fusion and broken beat.

Whilst D'Ambrosio is the leader, this is not all drums to the fore (but watch out for 'Halle Bop' that has a brilliant intro) as he's joined in the band by Eugenio Macchia (Piano / Electric Piano / Synthesizer), Gaetano Partipilo (Alto Saxophone) and Giorgio Vendola (Double Bass).  In fact, the opening track 'Milky Way' sets the tone in a gentle magnetude that defines space.  

Tracks like 'Milky Way' and 'Sirio' stand out where Macchia and Gaetano make the set sound like a simple Weather Report (Ed. I see what I did there?) but where it works best is tracks like 'Aquarius' and 'Hydra' where everyone contributes to make the total more than the sum of the parts. 

That said, 'Cassiopea' (nothing to do with the 70s jazz funk band 'Casiopea' from Japan) and 'Alioth' are the two longest tracks and both 'explore' the jazzways in a deep way; in fact, 'Cassiopea' has got at touch of the We Jazz vs. Herbie Hancock vs. reggae going on and with that bassline/synths and soul organ, I wonder if the Elber Phillips is thinking of a remix at the reforge?

There's no obvious 'big bang' track here (apart from the brilliant 'Cassipea') so it's a bit different from other releases on the label from last year, like Enrico Bracco's 'Flying In A Box' (review HERE), Davide Peluso Quartet's 'The Blue Zone' (review HERE) and Antonio Trinchera's 'The Tractor And The Child' (review HERE) but it certainly gives more on repeated listens.

Artist: Pippo D'Ambrosio  

Title: Beyond The Sky

Release date: 15th March, 2023

Label : A.MA Reforged / A.MA Records

Catalog Number : CD / Digital / Bandcamp 



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