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Antagonoisti Androgeni by Biagio Coppa

Creativity exudes through any musical genre. And in the free or semi-structured realm of jazz, the tried and true can be beaten into submission, often leading to a ho hum listening experience. Aimless cacophony and uninteresting dialogues are first-offender elements within these formats. However, lesser-known artists such as Italian saxophonist Biagio Coppa keenly realize that ingenuity and vigor are recipes for the betterment or perhaps, advancement of music through the artistic looking glass. With an estimable support system, the saxophonist injects a complex, yet personalized series of propositions throughout this first-class release.

Coppa and the band offer a holistic view of structure and improvisation. They proclaim angst, tenderness and a sense of harmony via odd-metered unison choruses, melodic mini-motifs and knotty developments. Simply put, the quintet sustains a great deal of interest from start-to-finish. Indeed, the musicians are apt to keep the listener dangling on a string, beckoning anticipation throughout the entire set.

With offbeat pulses and stirring contrasts, Coppa's fluid attack and shrewd use of space is also abetted by his sonorous extended note forays. On "Antagonisti Androgeni 2," the rhythm section generates an elusive backbeat, where Coppa and trumpeter Nate Wolley engage in vibrant dialogues and dissect the primary theme. Wooley's raspy lines transmit a sense of social disorder as the band intersperses linear developments, aided by pianist Cory Smythe's weaving clusters and circular voicings. Here and in other spots, the quintet conveys anarchy during bridge sections and finales. However, there's a systemic compositional approach that underscores the album.

Coppa's solid writing and ardent vision yields the winning edge. Hence, the artists' abide by a balanced mindset as they navigate through staggered cadences and razor-sharp regimentations. Overall, Coppa leaps onto the progressive-jazz radar with a mountainous ascension on this gem of a recording.


Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Biagio Coppa
  • CD Title: Antagonisti Androgeni
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2011
  • Record Label: Ruby Flower Records
  • Musicians: Biagio Coppa (saxophone), Nate Wooley (trumpet), Cory Smythe (piano), Trevor Dunn (bass), Tyshawn Sorey (drums)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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