New York Days
ECM CD (www.ecmrecords.com)
Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava appears in a quintet setting on New York Days, his latest CD for the ECM imprint (slated for release 29 Jan. ’09). Joined by pianist Stefano Bollani, tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Paul Motian, Rava presents nine originals, as well as a couple of improvisations credited to the group. On “LulÃ¹,” one hears how well-matched Turner and Rava are; both begin their solos with an ambling, unhurried character. Rava eventually moves up to the stratosphere in nimble runs, while Turner counters with his own syncopated and undulating traversal to the altissimo register. The two craft an interlocking misterioso duet on the evocatively titled “Count Dracula.”
Bollani is a wonderfully talented pianist, and his gifts for ballad playing are amply demonstrated on the lovely tune “Lady Orlando;” his comping is elegant and his soloing spacious. Also impressive here are the supple overlaps between trumpet and saxophone. The rhythm sections shines on the undulating, dancing “Luna Urbana.” Although there is a strong tendency towards the lyrical on New York Days, this does nothing to blunt its sense of adventure or omnipresent swing. Rava and company give us something to look forward to in 2009.