This reissue of the 1975 LP on CD format helps launch ECM Records Touchstones Series, comprising forty titles of rereleases all sold at an attractive, under $10 price. Here, we trek down memory lane with the great Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava and his multinational band, enhanced of course by the fabled ECM aesthetic. Never before issued on CD in the USA, this outing skirts the fringes of jazz-rock and modern jazz amid ethereal overtones.
Rava is largely known as one of the preeminent post-bop trumpeters of modern times, to complement a few keenly-placed excursions into the freer realm. On this album, he generates a sequence of melodically flavored tone poems, abetted by drummer Jon Christensen’s swooshing cymbals and Palle Danielsson’s modulating bass lines. And it’s Rava and guitarist John Abercrombie who set the variable moods, spanning motifs that elicit notions of a relaxing day in the countryside or spiritually induced sojourns into the stratosphere. Yet Rava and Abercrombie are colorists who up the ante into ascending crescendos, swarming with tension/release statements and drifting portraitures.
Abercrombie’s cunning volume control techniques offer a stunning contrast to Rava’s dark and moody phrasings as they augment various movements with dreamy theme building exercises. Nonetheless, the soloists spawn an open-air sound atop peppery cadences, where the band rockets towards the free-zone on "Surprise Hotel," and lowers the temperature with Eastern undertones during "By The Sea." Simply stated, this 1975 slice of recorded history offers a multifaceted slant on how beauty can be represented through music via a gamut of emotive stylizations and polytonal fabrics of sound.