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Stories by Marco Spedaliere

Contemporary Italian saxophonist Marco Spedaliere’s latest album, Stories, encompasses a wide range of compositional styles from the free-form synth and saxophone tune, “Waiting Tomorrow”, to the 80’s sax homages, “Luoghi Comuni” and “Crypto”.

Stories offers a nice glimpse into the contemporary jazz scene of twenty-first century Italy. Backed by a solid showing by bassist Davide Costagliola and pianist Dario Zeno, Spedaliere is able to produce a worthy modern take on the over the top “sax-centric” smooth jazz album. Spedaliere brings a refined and technical vibe to the album on which he plays each of the four saxophones. I find his soprano tone to be particularly inviting with the albums opening track. He is able to get an edge out of his sound without overdoing it and, in turn, he truly draws the listener in.

The inventive harmonic progression of “Made in China”, the albums sixth track, shows Spedaliere’s ability to be imaginative with form and work from a broad pallet. The combination of mallet percussion with the consistent back beat proved by the piano gives this composition a fresh feel with the music always being propelled forward. “Luoghi Comuni” takes a page right from Vince DiCola’s movie score to Rocky IV with a bridge that is heavy with synth horns, which gives Spedaliere plenty of room to flex his improvisational muscles. The tune is hammered home by the exceptional playing from bassist Davide Costagliola and the strong rock beat provided by drummer Sergio Di Natale. As with most albums, clunkers do exist, and Stories is no exception. The aforementioned “Waiting Tomorrow” and the album’s final track “To the Rising Sun” fail to keep pace with the stylistic and compositional constancy that the rest of the tracks possess. Overall, there is a lot to like with the latest release from Marco Spedaliere. Tracks to listen to: “An image of You”, “Luoghi Comuni”, and “Made in China”.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Marco Spedaliere
  • CD Title: Stories
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2010
  • Record Label: No Voices
  • Rating: Three Stars
Aaron Craven

Born in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Aaron graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's in music education with an emphasis in string bass performance and a minor in piano performance. While at IUP, Aaron studied double bass with Jeff Mangone. He then went on to graduate from the University of Tennessee with a master's degree in double bass / electric bass performance - studying under Harold (Rusty) Holloway. Prior to moving to Winston-Salem, North Carolina Aaron was assistant principal bass of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and has performed with the Symphony of the Mountains in Kingsport, Tennessee, and the Knoxville Opera. Currently Mr. Craven is a contract player (Double Bass) with the Western Piedmont Symphony and is a freelance bass player throughout the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina.

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