For those digging the world music-charged whoop of the Pierre Dǿrge New Jungle Orchestra (where Ellington hangs with Fela Kuti, Eric Dolphy jams with Django Reinhart in Cape Town).... have I got a disc for you!
Actis Band is leaded by reeds-player & composer Carlo Actis Dato, but they're like a stripped-down/transistorized version of the Dǿrge organization. They are saxophonist Massimo Rossi, guitarist Karsten Lipp, bassist Frederico Marchesano, and drummer Darlo Bruna, driven by Dato's ten tunes which are urgently rhythmic, melodies rich with a strong African flavor.
This lot evokes the exhilarating drive and ebullient spirit of Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, Dǿrge's Jungle posse, and even post-punk Afro-horn combo Pigbag. Each tune is exactly as long as it needs to be and no longer -- no water-treading or noodle-y nazz for these lads. Toss in some modal tunefulness, occasionally rock-like guitar squall (a little Santana/McLaughlin-like, but rawer), dabs of Monk-y business and Balkan flavors, and Dato and playing their horns with both free élan and (virtually) punk rock alacrity and snarl, and you've got cutting-edge good-time jazz invigorating as a half-gallon jug of ice water on a sweltering, 90% humidity Chicago afternoon. Get two copies, one for you, one for a pal -- it's that good.