Anglo Italian Quartet – Put It Right Mr. Smoothie

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Artist: Anglo Italian Quartet
Album: Put It Right Mr. Smoothie
Genre: Free Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
Label: Splasc(h) Records
Recording: 1990
Web Source: Private FTP

Here the Italian stallion rhythm section (bassist Enrico Fazio and drummer Fiorenzo Sordini) reaches out to embrace Canterbury scenester saxophonist Elton Dean and Brit jazz trumpeter extraordinaire Harry Beckett and the result is a muscular yet lyrical session of high flying tempos, hard swinging blues, and fiery, knotty interactions between frontline and rhythm section. It’s the Brits who had to give the most in this session, Dean’s elaborately styled playing and phrasing which have served him well with Soft Machine and other jazz and prog rock outfits, has had to be pared back somewhat on this date. This, in spite of the fact that he wrote most of the compositions here, has made him a far more expansive improviser. Beckett, who has played with everyone from Bortherhood of Breath to John Surman to Dean, has taken his direct jazz approach and rounded its edges here, and blends very well with Dean. But it’s the rhythm section that’s the real story here; they bring the package of disparate elements together in a wash of grand vibes and sultry jazz pyrotechnics. On the title track, Fazio wails a pizzicato blues line under Beckett’s angled lines making them smooth for a Dean solo that follows Sordini’s accents. On Dean’s “Small Strides,” a complex melodic pattern has Sordini double-timing Dean and Beckett through an inverted harmonic sequence that opens up onto a theme and three variations as Fazio strides the backbeat. Finally, on Beckett’s “I Wish,” Fazio plays one of the most elaborately lyrical and poignant bass solos in Italian jazz history, only to have his arco work under-girded by a pastoral sequence by Sordini before the front line comes back in to whisper the track to a close elegaically. This was a phenomenal meeting, and this record has enduring grace and power.

Bass – Enrico Fazio
Drums – Fiorenzo Sordini
Saxello, Alto Saxophone [Alto Sax] – Elton Dean
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Harry Beckett

1. Unda (8:49)
2. Put It Right Mr. Smoothie (8:03)
3. Sing Sing (4:15)
4. Small Strides (7:47)
5. One Three Nine (8:34)
6. I Wish (9:20)
7. Small Strides (10:26)
8. I Wish (live) (18:19)
Tracks 1 to 6
Studio Recording:
at Barigozzi Studio – Milano (Italy) on February 12 & 13, 1990
Tracks 7, 8
Live Recording:
at “Tracce di Jazz 1990” Modena Jazz Festival on February 10, 1990


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Put It Right Mr. Smoothie
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