Jazz was born in the Americas but has earned its reputation as an universal music growing and developing in unique directions all over the world. The Italian Jazz scene is especially vital right now creating a European jazz milieu with a distinct flair. Two artists making important music in Italy right now are both immigrants to that country.Guitarist Roberto Taufic was born in Honduras grew up in Brazil and immigrated to Italy. Saxophonist Giancarlo Maurino was born in Kuwait City from an Armenian mother and an Italian father. They have come together to create a jewel of a Cd Un Abraço . Both artists display virtuosity and extreme musicality. Including original compositions by Maurino and Taufic; the standout is the title track "Un Abraço" with a sinuous melody that stays in your mind. There is a Be-bop influenced track dedicated to Charlie Parker, «Dr.Charlie», a Jobim classic "Samba do Aviao», three tunes by Brazilian composer Guinga and an original by Taufic's equally talented younger brother Eduardo. These two artists also offer a totally re-harmonized version of "The Days of Wine and Roses" transforming this much played standard into a personal and unique way. On every track Taufic lays down a bed of rich voicing and carefully crafted counter euphonies to Maurino's soulful and meditative improvisations. Maurino's readings of all chorus are impeccable and his pure tone is rich and dark. Roberto Taufic is a master of the guitar, playing both chords and baselines with insouciant ease and deep feeling.
Un Abraço is a study in opposites, relaxed yet precise, controlled yet personal, tropical yet urban, pensive and at times bittersweet. This is some of the best of Contemporary Italian jazz with a touch of Brazilian soul. Highly recommended!.