Adalberto Ferrari: clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, soprano sax | Andrea Ferrari: clarinet, alto clarinet, baritone sax | Federico Cumar: trombone on isles & lives | Luca Serrapiglio: soprano sax on isles & lives
Edition number eight of Amirani records is Wanderung
Tracklist: 1. the walking thought 2. dal monte, la notte del mare 3. cloudy waltz 4. ship’s log no. 1 5. limits, unknown 6. dream up 7. ship’s log no. 2 8. soundscapes 9. notturni luoghi 10. isles & lives
credits: N o v o T o n o / w a n d e r u n g | music: Adalberto Ferrari, except * by Andrea Ferrari | recording: Mu Rec studio, Milano Italy, Spring 2007 | sound engineer: Paolo Falascone | mastering: Maurizio Giannotti, Bips studio, Milano Italy | photos:Agua Mimmo, except “three lakes” by Gioia Aloisi | sentence: Ugo di San Vittore, Didascalicon, 1128 | concept: Gianni Mimmo | graphics: Mirko Spino | production: Gianni Mimmo for Amirani records.
crosses imaginary , dreamed and materic roads.
Contemporary music composed and played in a impressive and soulful way.
is the romantic myth of the adventure traveller.
He belongs to the walk
He hasn’t a birthpalce to come back.
Like a flame he doesn’t tarry.
Strange lands and separation, these are the Wanderer’s lot..
When a man is a wanderer and stranger,
he shouldnot be gruff nor overbearing.
A wanderer has no fixed abode; his home is the road.
Therefore he must
take care to remain upright and steadfast,
so that he sojourns only in the
proper places, associating only with good people.
When grass on a mountain takes fire, there is bright light.
However, the fire
does not linger in one place,
but travels on to new fuel.
CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)
MP3 version (78.58MB zip download)
While the cover is really classy and the fact many of the musicians on this label have a jazz/learned/contemporary background might bring forth the idea it’s soft-new age-jazz you can listen while having your macrobiotic meal, the music sails in much trouble waters.
The fact all the music is played with clarinets, saxophones and trombone makes the listening not so comfortable above all if you consider this’ not “wallpaper jazz” and as you may suspect by yourself to avoid falling in the sad “innocuous jazz” category they needed ideas.
Yes, they have ideas and they probably put it on paper while filling the blacks of the pentagram since the majority of the tracks are composed and by some means quite geometrically that makes it all interesting, but on the other hand the side effect is that sometimes it’s really tortuous.
As you can guess the recording is quite bright-clean like the majority of the other materials on Amirani but it gets rough just with some low registers and I say cause beside under the decisional profile it means in their compositions Novotono tried to explore every possible sound solution (according to their initial intentions, of course!).
It would be easy and, above all, wrong to compare “wanderung” to the mighty Rova Quartet but let’s do it just to help you (and above all me) to describe further on this release.
If compared to the historical releases of the Californians this one is forcedly less choral, more absorbed in abstraction but just here and there when they go for improvisational break in between written solutions. I’m tented to add Novotono sounds also sharper and colder, that make me think to a lot of avant white jazzists like Time Berne (he’s not always cold, I know, shame on me!), Kyle Bruckmann or Scott Rosemberg just to mention some names you may know.
I know, “mr. know it all”, is there complaining Braxton is whiter than the snow said that, dear mr. “know it all”, you will agree if you’re into horns dueling with contemporary music and above all into jazz trying not to be wall paper music, you’d better give a listen.
— Andrea Ferraris, november 07
From a different perspective is NovoTono , an italian duo consisting of brothers Adalberto and Andrea Ferrari.
On this ten songs outing of compositions penned mostly by Adalberto, the duo’s ability to mantain one’s interest over the corse of the program speaks to their skills as improvisers who offer a compelling sound palette.
Often, a repetitive motif is the launch pad for delivering the goods, such as Adalberto’s bass clarinet on “The Walking Thought”.
NovoTono is about exploration of sound within the contest of an unfolding story.
A sparse landscape painted by Andrea’s baritone, the interwoven bari and bass clarinet shine of Andrea’s “Dal Monte, La Notte Del Mare” proves illustrative.
As for the diversified landscapes, look no further than the delicious low-tones of Adalberto’s contrabass clarinet, with its spunk inspiring on “Ship’s Log #1”, as well as the fluttering birds of the companion piece, “Ship’s Log #2” and communicative zones of “Soundscapes”, a piece written by Andrea that embellishes unison lines and reflective sonoritiy.
While the duo certainly exibits a spark for rugged improvisation without pre-planned contexts, much of the record swims in realms where quietude and sparse music-making inspires the the duo.
A percussive, yet subdued vibe pervades “Cloudy Waltz”, where percussive reed wisps rule the day, whereas “Dream Up” shimmers due to Andrea’s facile bari work, while “Notturni Luoghi” is percussive, yet hushed.
As a final note the duo becomes a full-on quartet on the record’s final piece, “Isles&Lives”, that matches the sparse realms pursued by the Ferraris, with the additional hues of trombonist Federico Cumar and soprano saxophonist Luca Serrapiglio to relish a shimmering groove.
NovoTono demonstrates a surprising depth garnered from a relatively limited sonic canvas.
— Jay Collins, Cadence, April 08
NovoTono are two Italian master clarinet players, the brothers Adalberto and Andrea Ferrari, the former also playing soprano sax and the latter baritone sax. This beautiful record brings a combination between modern classical music, jazz, free improvisation and avant-garde. All tracks have a clear structure, with anchor points for reference to the two musicians, sometimes with rhythmic patterns played by one of them, but those are just the basis for the improvisations. Their approach is abstract yet intimate at the same time. The title, "Wanderung" is the German word for hiking or even stronger for migration, with reference to a poetic line "perfection lies in he who sees the entire world as a foreign land", (probably) meaning that you have to look at things with fresh eyes, full of wonder and surprise at what you see, full of opportunities to explore, even the familiar. And that describes the music well. There are familiar rhythms and patterns, even references to Italian folk music, but it all sounds suprising and new. Don’t expect real melodies though, the most you get are sounds over rhythm and sound patterns, often with lots of space in between. Only on the two "Ship’s Log" tracks does the excitement increase in some twirling abstract, almost funky line. On the longest and last track "Isles & Lives" Federico Cumar joins on trombone and Luca Serrapiglio on soprano sax, and it is also the most varied piece of the album, with some joyful dance-like tune played by the bass clarinet, once in a while backed up by the other horns, slowing down for the other clarinet to play a mournful solo built around silence, disturbed by some abstract chaotic interference of the other instruments, changing the dance-tune into something sad and plaintive, slowly taking up speed again with other reeds in unison acting in counterpoint until the trombone takes over, deep, dark and menacing, yet all ends well, with joy returned and all four musicians playing together. The Ferrari brothers clarinet playing is stunning, and their music is creative and exploratory, while still remaining intimate and close. This seems to be the hallmark of the label, and it’s an approach we can only welcome.
— Stef Gijssels, freejazz-stef.blogspot.com , July 08
Avec un peu de retard par rapport à sa parution l’année dernière, voici un excellent duo de clarinettes par deux improvisateurs italiens poly-instrumentistes. Ces deux frangins se partagent le travail : à Adalberto, les graves (clarinette Mib, clarinettes basse et contrebasse plus sax baryton) et les aigus à Andrea (clarinette Mib, clarinette alto et sax soprano). Comme beaucoup d’improvisateurs péninsulaires, Novo Tono se situe à mi-chemin d’une musique contemporaine tempérée, du jazz libéré et de l’improvisation « européenne » avec un lyrisme assumé. Une vision plus traditionnelle de la création musicale si on devait les comparer à bien des improvisateurs pointus français, allemands ou britanniques. Mais Wanderung est vraiment une musique sincère, raffinée et excellemment jouée qui se laisse écouter avec un réel plaisir. Pour preuve, cette clarinette murmurante de cloudy waltz et ces échanges subtils. Limits, unknown, nous donne des lueurs qui détonnent agréablement de l’académisme qui connote trop souvent la clarinette. Il y a beaucoup de douceur dans cette musique, mais qui a flâné dans ces villes de province du Nord de l’Italie où n’affluent pas les touristes (Pavia, Ferrara, Alessandria, etc…), en saisira immédiatement la saveur. Ceux qui en leur temps ont apprécié Tony Coe improvisateur se régaleront. Et quand cela dérape (ship’s log), la clarinette contrebasse se déplace de manière épatante. Aussi, un final en quartette avec Federico Cumar au trombone et Luca Serrapiglio au sax soprano. Bref, ce Novo Tono propose un excellent moment à partager, enregistré et présenté de façon superlative comme très souvent chez Amirani.
— Jean Michel Van Schouwburg, Improjazz, sep. ’09