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Every Breath We Take: The Music of Sting by Jazz Fantasy

Jazz Fantasy is a contemporary bop group with a lot of different ideas. For example, this album is mostly composed of interpretations of songs from the singer Sting, with a few exceptions. The Italian group has rearranged some of Sting’s classic pop tunes, mostly from when it was still Sting and the Police, to fit its ensemble. The trio is joined on this occasion by trumpeter Franco Ambrosetti, Saxophonist Marco Gotti, and guitarist Andy Schnoz to create a vibrant group that has a very orchestrated sound, but entirely fitting to the interpretations.

The opening track, "Shape Of My Heart," is one of the few selections not attributed to Sting, but instead to Brazilian guitarist Dominique Miller. The trio plays this selection alone. It starts with the plaintive piano melody, which grows in intensity with the accompanying bass line. Chimes and cymbols are used to create color and thicken the sound. The line repeats, each time with more additions, building to a short bass solo. The piano takes over again in an animated solo that makes use of both left and right hands. The bass is unfortunately somewhat drowned out in this section. Lastly, the drums and piano trade eight bar phrases, the beat settling into more of a Latin groove. Just as suddenly, the piece returns to the soft, lilting opening line, mirroring the piece’s introduction.

"Moon over Bourbon Street" begins with a heavy bass and piano line mimicking that of the original recording, giving way to Ambrosetti’s melody on trumpet. The solo section is done in a traditional style, over a walking bass line and chordal piano lines, with the drums swinging behind. Ambrosetti’s solo grows in intensity, featuring runs into the high register and syncopated patterns. Norbert Dalsass then takes a more subdued bass solo, playing along with bits of the melody. At the end of the solo section, there’s another session of trading fours between Ambrosetti and drummer Roman Hinteregger before returning to the melody.

There are a few ballads on the album, such as "Golden Fields" and "La Belle Dame Sans Regrets," which feature pianist Michele Giro, where he augments his lyrical lines with rich chords. "Dream Of The Blue Turtles" takes a more abstract approach and features some complex interplay between Schnoz’s guitar and Gotti’s soprano sax. It is a lot freer than the rest of the album, but still displays the tight playing and excellent musicianship heard through out the album. The title track, "Every Breath You Take", adheres fairly closely to the original melody line. Most of the solos are variations on this familiar line, while the background continues an ethereal, airy feel. Hinteregger utilizes several auxiliary percussion instruments such as gongs, shakers, congas and chimes to create this effect. The trio works very well with each other and with the individual soloists. Overall, some very good playing in an intriguing setting, combined to make a great album.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Jazz Fantasy
  • CD Title: Every Breath We Take: The Music of Sting
  • Genre: BeBop / Hard Bop
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Splasc(H) Records
  • Tracks: Shape Of My Heart, Moon Over Bourbon Street, Golden Fields, Perfect Love...Gone Wrong, Heavy Cloud No Rain, Dienda, La Belle Dame Sans Regrets, Dream of the Blue Turtles, Every Breath You Take
  • Musicians: Norbert Dalsass (bass), Roman Hinteregger (drums), Michele Giro (piano), Franco Ambrosetti (trumpet), Andy Schnoz (guitar), Marco Gotti (sax, clarinet)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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