Daniele Cavallanti | Electric Unit | with Nels Cline | Smoke Inside | Long Song Records

daniele cavallanti | electric unit | with nels cline | smoke inside | long song records

Daniele Cavallanti -tenor and baritone saxophone | Nels Cline – electric guitar | Ivano Borgazzi – fender rhodes, electric keyboards | Giovanni Maier – double bass, electric bass | Simone Massaron – baritone electric guitar, fretless electric guitar, electric guitar | Pacho – percussions | Tiziano Tononi – drums

Recorded april 30th/may1st 2006. Mixed july 15th/16th/31st 2006 at New Art Studio – Uboldo, Milano. Mastered at Bips Studio by Maurizio Giannotti, october 3rd 2006. Sound engineer Paolo Censi. Produced by Fabrizio Perissinotto. Photos by Alessandro Pecci. Graphic and booklet by Federico Cavina.

Tracklist: 1. Cline’s line (9:44) 2. Ahimsa – Intro: gongs, sound & stuff – Wayne out – Nels – The Long Song Blues (19:27) 3. Moods for Dewey (11:32) 4. Lonesome drive (10:12) 5. Fabrizio’s mood (10:52) 6. Go on Moses (7:34)

daniele cavallanti | electric unit | with nels cline | smoke inside | long song records

This record celebrates

the meeting of the best pre-fusion electric jazz with the vibe of the best instrumental rock. Daniel Cavallanti, a veteran sax player from the critically acclaimed groups Nexus and Italian Instabile Orchestra,” joins forces with his old friend Nels Cline and some great Italian jazzmen to crate daring music, classical and modern and fresh at the same time. You get long original compositions dominated by a strong and pulsating rhythmic feel, no-nonsense melodies and extended, soaring solos. “A large group of Italians and I recorded this, a set of “electric jazz”, in Milan for Long Song Records. It’s very early 70s style, and almost everyone involved with this fun record are old enough to really know how to play this stuff in the pre-FUSION way, which is to say, pre-“popping”, pre-“symphonic”, pre-CRAPPY… Daniele, who I met and played with about 13 years ago, has a sound that reminds me of the great (and, sadly, recently departed) Dewey Redman.” -Nels Cline

If you are among those who rise their eyebrows hearing the expression “jazz-rock” thinking about dull riffs and silly elevator music, this record can lead you to the right track. Daniele Cavallanti and his old friend Nels Cline, important and very active character in the independent rock scene, give birth to a sincere and rigorous work of art, without slipping towards easy solutions and commercial downhill. Electrical Jazz (“pre-fusion”, as Cline proudly claims), but also long and visionary free introductions that draw together in essential themes and energetic rock drum-base progressions. Noise progressive hallucinations, and even the vibrating gospel Go On Moses, in which the dry and perfect guitars of Cline and Massaron move at ease, magisterially supported by Tononi’s drums, whose concreteness does not impair the final taste and interplay. Without ever dropping, the leader’s creativity explores freely the territories of tonality canons as in Mood for Dewey, tribute for Redman, that Cavallanti recorded in 1994 with the great sax player, here in a swaying funk-electrical version. — jazzit

daniele cavallanti | electric unit | with nels cline | smoke inside | long song records

Featuring Daniele Cavallanti

on tenor & bari saxes, Nels Cline on electric guitar, Simone Massaron on electric guitars (3 tracks), Ivano Borgazzi on Fender Rhodes & electric keyboards, Giovanni Maier on basses, Pacho on percussion and Tiziano Tononi on drums. Danile Cavallanti’s tenor sax should be familiar to anyone who’s ever listened to Italian Instabile or Nexus orchestras. Besides guitar god, Nels Cline, the only other fellow here that recognize is their drummer, Tiziano Tononi, who has done three great tribute discs for Coltrane, Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman and whose bands have included Cavallanti and Maier from this project. Daniele composed or co-composed five of the six songs here, with one by bandmember Massaron. “Cline’s Line” opens with an intense, jazz/rock power trio featuring Nels, but soon gets into a great, somewhat funky groove with Giovnni’s acoustic bass buzzing quickly as Simone plays some fine wah-wah electric piano. A bit Weather Report-like, from their early days. “Ahimsa/The Long Song Blues” has a superb, freer electric Miles-like vibe, with a fine laid-back tenor solo from Daniele and great electric piano sizzling underneath. “Moods for Dewey” was written for the late Dewey Redman many years back, long before his recent passing. That sly melody is infectious and both guitarists swirl layers of lines underneath the sax solo and Nels taking an amazing jazz guitar solo. In many ways this disc is reminiscent of the better electric jazz or fusion records of the seventies without many of the cliches and the sax as the central soloist on much of this. Both guitars and electric piano do a great deal of weaving their note around one another and creating sumptuous moods. The player that often stands out here besides Nels is contabassist, Giovanni Maier, who consistently spins a web of dynamic acoustic bass creativity. Nels takes one those “Holy shit!” guitar solos on “Fabrizio’s Mood” as Tiziano’s powerful drums and Daniele’s smokin’ sax answer the call. We never know where our next gem will come from, but this week it is from somewhere in Italy. — BLG

daniele cavallanti | electric unit | with nels cline | smoke inside | long song records

As a sideman, Cline is no less adventurous.

His guitar snakes through the opening silence of Daniele Cavallanti’s Smoke Inside, before the leader’s smoky tenor gives chase. “Cline’s Line” is a fusion anthem, complete with spacey Rhodes, electric bass and pulsing rock beat. After the band enters, Cline cuts a jagged course, sparring briefly with Cavallanti before taking the lead all the way to the finish. Smoke Inside “is electric jazz: pre-fusion… pre-crappy,” says Cline of Cavallanti’s “Electric Unit”. The vibe is old school, but the playing is distinctly modern. Cavallanti positively burns on “Moods for Dewey”, driven by Cline and the relentless groove of drummer Pacho. The intensity rarely wanes through the album’s six tracks and Cavallanti’s “Electric Unit” shows the potential of jazz-rock in capable hands. — All About Jazz



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5 thoughts on “Daniele Cavallanti | Electric Unit | with Nels Cline | Smoke Inside | Long Song Records

  1. Like many performers of the fusion/free jazz ilk, The Daniele Cavallanti Electric Unit composes music that enables them to indulge in their personalized idioms and individually carved fragments. The Unit recorded the tracks on their latest album Smoke Inside from April 30th, 2006 to May 1st, 2006. It was a 24-hour buzz that they needed to get out of their systems and they did it in one jam session. Their energies expelled music ideas that created contrasting tones, frills and twirls with uneven levels of inertia and polyrhythmic movements that cause many aspects of the music to sound jumbled and radical.

    Literally, each player moves to the beat of a different drummer and yet the players still resonate with a common syncopation that engages the listener into the musicians charming play. There are some performers who use their music to express serious moods and then there are those like The Daniele Cavallanti Electric Unit who show a lot of frolicking play and inventive doodling with jazz and blues overtones in their music. The object is not to let the music make you go insane with all the lines streaming chaotically into each other, but to hear where they are coming from and when they come into the picture. The music is like a conversation with multiple voices surrounding you.

    The opening number “Cline’s Line” sprouts a bouquet of frilly guitar bows performed by Nels Cline. The guitar is soon combined with cooling saxophone rings played by Daniele Cavallanti and thrusting drum strikes by Tiziano Tononi. Coming into the fold periodically are keyboardist Ivano Borgazzi, bass player Giovanni Maier, guitarist Simone Massaron and percussionist Pacho. The music takes on an eerie, sci-fi dimension on “Lonesome Drive” providing cavernous echoes, then turning the tables and making the music a session of twisted metal pinned by dysfunctional phrasing with “Fabrizio’s Mood.” The blues revival of Ahima’s subdivision “Long Song Blues” is shaped from bluesy organs and upright bass tugs barbed by sultry saxophone lines that produce a strip-tease atmospherics.
    The track “Moods For Dewey” is a tribute to their beloved friend Dewey Redman. The Unit covers the melody in laid-back urban grooves of the ‘70s pumping out funky bass and percussion lines as the saxophone phrases twirl vivaciously with the beating heart of someone who celebrates the joyful memories of the past. The final track “Go On Moses” is dripping in warm saxophone tones and peaceful keys. It is the most melodic tune on the album and rich in bluesy fibers.

    Produced by Fabrizio Perissinotto, Smoke Inside is true to many fusion/free jazz ideals which allows each player to keep his own individual style while being meshed into others. The solos are sparse, but when they are done, the other players pause in reverence. The Unit’s intermingling of electric and acoustic instruments is exceptionally skillful, layering the parts to enhance the multiple dimensions in the music. I dare to say that The Daniele Cavallanti Electric Unit falls into that old cliché “Italians do it better.”

  2. Un disco di jazz elettrico, riletture di materiale scritto in passato a fianco di nuove composizioni scritte per l’occasione. E’ l’ultima sfida di Daniele Cavallanti, sassofonista (tenore e baritono) con quasi quarant’anni di attività.

    L’occasione è il primo disco uscito per la milanese Long Song Records, etichetta di recente formazione, ma che si è già segnalata per un’attività fervente, concentrata sui settori più avanguardistici delle commistioni tra jazz e rock.

    In questa nuova prova, per sua stessa ammissione differente sotto molti aspetti da quanto prodotto in passato, Cavallanti si fa accompagnare da una band di prim’ordine, nella quale spiccano due sperimentatori chitarristici come l’americano Nels Cline e il giovane Simone Massaron, e il compagno di lungo corso Tiziano Tononi (artefice insieme a Cavallanti, tra le altre collaborazioni, del progetto Nexus) dietro la batteria.

    La mastodontica Hymsa, oltre diciannove minuti, campeggia trai sei lunghi brani che compongono una selezione caratterizzata, nella quale dominano compostezza formale e rilassatezza di toni. Tuttavia l’ensemble evita il rischio di sembrare troppo ‘rigoroso’, e l’impressione di ‘suonarsi addosso’, attraverso l’accurato inserimento di varie deviazioni dalla ‘retta via’: e allora, di volta in volta, ecco sprazzi free, accennate derive siderali à la Sun Ra, perfino qualche allusione crimsoniana e, più spesso, suggestioni che rimandano alla grande stagione del jazz elettrico di Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, o, per restare a casa nostra, Perigeo.

    Fino a lasciarsi andare nella semiconclusiva Fabrizio’s Mood (scritta insieme a Fabrizio Perissinotto, produttore e artefice della Long Song Records), dove il dialogo tra sassofono e chitarra, che ritorna come un filo conduttore nel corso di tutto il disco, raggiunge la sua massima creatività e libertà espressiva.

    Intorno, il consueto calore sonoro, tipico del jazz elettrico, trasmesso dalle trame costruite da tastiere e contrabbasso, mentre sullo sfondo la batteria lavora senza sosta ad accrescere alternativamente la dinamica, la delicatezza, o la vivacità dell’insieme.

    Un disco certo non agevole: la durata (globale e delle singole) tracce richiede lo sforzo di un ascolto attento, pena il rischio di perdere il filo, ma che dopo aver richiesto concentrazione e ‘serietà’ da parte dell’ascoltatore, sa essere avvolgente, e si concede volentieri attraverso il suo dipanarsi sinuoso.

  3. Dans ce récent “Smoke Inside”, le quintette du saxophoniste ténor italien, vétéran de l’Italian Instabile Orchestra et du groupe Nexus, est augmenté du guitariste Nils Cline. Dès l’introduction, avec un son et un phrasé qui n’est pas sans rappeler celui de John Scofield. l’ami américain imprime à l’ensemble son jeu volubile et intense. Et, de fait, on pense souvent au David Liebman Quintet des années 70 (Terumasa Hino, John Scofield, Ron McClure et Adam Nussbaumj qui tirait si bien profìt du contraste entre langage jazz et vocabulaire blues, voire rock, entre ambiances acoustiques et décharges furieuses. Avec Ahimsa, longue suite aux multiples ambiances dans laquelle la virtuosité du saxophoniste s’exerce aussi sur baryton, c’est au Miles Davis du début des années 80 qu’il est fait référence : groove assez libre donc, et pulsation rythmique insistante. Tout comme dans Moods For Dewey, enregistré en hommage à Dewey Redman, où le solo de Cavallanti, plus lyrique que jamais, plonge dans la soul. On l’a compris, ce n’est pas l’originalité qui prévaut ici. mais plutót la fraicheur et. l’efficacité de la réinterprétation d’un état d’esprit qui connut ses heures de gioire et qu’on est heureux de voir ressuscité si joyeusement. Jubilatoire.

  4. I’ve got this ringing in my ears! That’s electric jazz, son; trust me, it’s good for you.

    Italian saxophonist Daniele Cavallanti, best known for his work in Nexus and the Italian Instabile Orchestra with drummer Tiziano Tononi, assembled this Electric Unit not to play fusion, but the electric music handed down by founding fathers Miles Davis, Tony Williams, Al Foster, Steve Grossman, John McLaughlin, Dave Liebman and others.

    Cavallanti’s mission on Smoke Inside is accomplished with the aforementioned help of Tononi, plus the guitar of U.S. west coast hero Nels Cline. From the opener “Cline’s Line,” the guitar introduces a funk groove with Giovanni Maier’s bass and the power-jam of the drummer. Cline and Cavallanti trade licks in this healthy anthem.

    A tribute to the recently deceased saxophonist Dewey Redman, “Moods for Dewey” finds a relaxed groove swept by the very large sound of Cavallanti’s saxophone. He plays sans self-consciousness, not unlike Sonny Fortune. Cline is featured on one of his otherworldly guitar flights on “Fabrizio’s Mood.” Backed by the whirling Tononi and Maier, he rips, tears and crunches as introduction to some outward playing by Cavallanti and the keyboardist Ivano Borgazzi. The lengthiest track, a nearly twenty-minute “Ahimsa,” rings of an early Wayne Shorter/Joe Zawinul vibe.

    The slow-walking blues of “Go on Moses” ends the disc. A certain crowd pleaser, the band evokes an old-time organ sound behind the guitar/saxophone sign-off. It is, indeed, good for you.

  5. Jazz fans everywhere will dig “Smoke Inside” by Daniele Cavallanti. This is a foray into the Electric side of Mr. Cavallanti with some old favorites reworked as well as some brand new compositions. The disk starts off strong with a track called Cline’s line, which is like a listening experience onto itself. Starting with Guitar shortly joined by sax the song breaks into a full on romp at about 2min 45sec. then at around 3:15 it breaks down and the real fun just begins. Very cool. Daniele Cavallanti plays Tenor and Baritone Saxophone with strength and authority as he leads a fantastic band through six tracks. Nels Cline does amazing work on Guitar
    throughout the disk and is supported by Tiziano Tononi on drums and a marvelous percussionist named Pacho.

    Giovanni Maier is heaping coal on the fire with controlled aggression on stand up as well as pushing hard with his electric bass when called on. His electric work on “Moods for Dewey” was especially pleasing to me. Simone Massaron makes an exceptional contribution on that track as well playing the Baritone Electric Guitar and his choice of Fretless Electric Guitar on “Lonesome drive” is an unexpected treat. Throw in the thoughtful and tasteful playing of Ivano Borgazzi on Fender Rhodes and Keys and you get a disk that is musically on the move while always maintaining the highest quality of production and creative musicianship. “Smoke Inside”is apply named. This group caught fire on this disk.

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