Tuesday 9 July 2024

Posted by Gerry Hectic | File under : , , ,

You could say tha Attilio Zanchi is the A to Z of jazz bass and just to proove it, the new album on Mono Jazz is his musical portait of the master of them all, Charles Mingus.

You'll recall that the last release on Mono Jazz was the jazz rarity, 'Chet On Poetry' by legend Chet Baker (see review HERE) which is an amazing piece of jazz history and this new album, is a different take on highlighting another icon, Charles Mingus who is mostly known as a bass player but was also a composer, bandleader and civil rights activist who so happened to play in banks with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Taylor, Lionel Hampton and many, many more in his own bands.

Because Mingus was so good for such a longer period in many styles it'd be difficult to know where to start if you were new to his name or even a long term student; either way, Zanchi and producer Rocco Pandiani have put together not only a top rate band of musicians but also the tracks to paint this picture.

The big track that'll get all the attention of your jazzdance types is the be-bop swing of 'Boogie Stop Shuffle' with big horn section, drum break with Batman theme (original 60s version) style.

The beautiful title track epitomizes what this album is all about and then there's the angular swing of 'Remember Rockefeller At Attica' (political instrumental jazz!), the intriguing 'Fables Of Faubus' (which builds up to solos by Andrea Andreoli and Daniele Nocella) and the lounge love song of 'Sound Of Love' that's warm and cuddly with Attilio caressing his instrument (Ed. can you say that?).

Even the 'Jelly Roll' (Morton) take on trad. New Orlean's is cool. But you can't get cooler than the spiritual 'For Harry Carney' that showcases Gianni Azzali (sax and flute) and Tino Tracann (saprano sax) on the front line.

There's not a bad track on here (as you'd expect) even thought there's nothing from Mingus' 1957 album, 'The Clown' which has one of the creepiest covers in jazz but you can't have it all. 

Zanchi has said, "If I have to make one last record, now that I'm 70, I want it dedicate to Mingus.  In such a poor musical age, his music - in which traditional jazz, classical and contemporary, but also dixieland and 'free' coexist - contains all the 20th century"; Sir, job done to perfecton - Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus you might say. 

PS. great cover artwork/photo which evokes some of Mingus' own LP covers.

PPS. watch out for a DJ Farrapo remix release coming soon (you remember his Afro Art single that came out when Paul 'Jazz Room' Murphy was running the label - amazing).

Artist: Attilio Zanchi 
Title: Mingus Portrait 
Release date: 24th June, 2024 
Label : Mono Jazz
Catalog Number : -
Format : LP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp

Attilio Zanchi: leader & bass
Gianni Azzali: tenor sax & flute
Tino Tracanna: soprano sax (1/2/5 and 7)
Andrea Andreoli: trombone (1/2/4/5/6/7/8 and 10)
Daniele Nocella: trumpet (1/3/5/6/8 and 9)
Massimo Colombo: piano
Tommy Bradascio: drums


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