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  CADENCE - Apr, May, June 2009
  MUSICA JAZZ n° 7 - luglio 2009
  CD on JAZZ & TZAZ - May 2009
  ALL ABOUT JAZZ - 15 gennaio 2009
  CULTUREJAZZ - octobre 2008
  JAZZRYTMIT - 10 dicembre 2008
  O ZURRETT D'ARTAL - 26 de julio de 2008
  IL MANIFESTO - sabato 12 marzo 2005
  CADENCE - n° 2 - february 2004
  MUSICA JAZZ - n° 5 - 4 maggio 2004
  LA REPUBBLICA - 4 maggio 2004
  JAZZAROUND - avril - mai 2004
  TOMAJAZZ - marzo 2004
  MUSICA JAZZ - gennaio 2004
  IMPROJAZZ - issue 102 february 2004
  ITALIAN JAZZ NOTES - dicembre 2003
  LA STAMPA - 13 settembre 2003
  QUI - maggio 2003
  Mark Dresser - Personal Communication
  Antonio Feola - Personal Communication
  LA REPUBBLICA - mercoledì 1 marzo 2000
  LA STAMPA - mercoledì 23 Giugno 1999
CADENCE - Apr, May, June 2009

Bill Donaldson

Apr, May, June 2009

That's Progress. The locomotive symbolizing this group's power has advanced from a steam engine on the cover of the liner notes for its first CD to a just-o-the-factory-floor diesel version, complete with a painted lightning bolt on its side, for Lokomotiv Kanarone 2.

The freshness of the quintet's music remains just as inventive and engaging as before, though its locomotion may not arise from as repetitive a force as the visual symbol may suggest. Fiorenzo Bodrato wrote all of the compositions on Lokomotiv Kanarone 2, and Charles Mingus appears to be the inspiration for this italian bassist's unconventional aproach. Without a chorded instrument to complete the harmonic suggestions, Lokomotiv Kanarone uses the various rhythms set up by Bodrato to vary its presentations, manic at times like trombonist Gianpiero Malfatto's low-register blats and vocal-like sounds on “B-Funk, G-Funk, U-Funk!”. At other times, as on “Splendida Mattina”, Bodrato stes the mood for the piece with an extended introductory solo before the horns - and before drummer Antonio Stizzoli's beat - enter.

The music of Lokomotiv Kanarone exudes youthfulness. The prominence of Bodrato's bass work in the mix sometimes recalls Reid Anderson's contributions to the irrepressibility of The Bad Plus. Stizzoli isn't adverse to setting up a backbeat, as on “Cimici”, though as always he varies the feel of the piece by mixig the rhytm with clip-clopping or the clatter of sticks on the rims. However, throughout most of the CD, the quintet's breacking of rules and its sense of fun overrule adherence to tradition as they take the kernel of an idea and expand it into musical fulfillment. “Downtown” starts with the throbbing of Bodrato's bass and Malfatto's low-register trombone vamp before it builds from Stizzoli's infectious rhithm and Andrea Buffa's woven saxophone lines over the single chord. Before long, though, harmonies, in addiction to the Buffa-Malfatto counterpoint, occur, eerily on their own tangent to the root chord.

So do written unison lines, not quite melodic, but certainly creating their own drama as if deplicting visual action. The wittily entitled “Shuffle for President” doesn't shuffle s much as stutter with repetition and swirl and eventually ease into overtones and references to “Caravan”. Buffa and Malfatto encircle and enlarge and engage each other before the more straightforward “Naima” - like theme takes over. During solos or divergent explorations of their own themes, the musicians of Lokomotiv Kanarone clearly enjoy the process of making music and sharing it with their listeners, even as they shape it to their own unconventional ends. Even “Sorrow”, for all its suggestions of melancholy and regret, contains as much joy as sorrow. Oddly enough, the quintet conveys the sentiment with a buzzing delivery of its melody and with whimsy.
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