Smoke Inside – Downtown Music Gallery

Downtown Music Gallery talks about Smoke Inside

Featuring Daniele Cavallanti on tenor & bari saxes, Nels Cline on electric guitar, Simone Massaron on electric guitars (3 tracks), Ivano Borgazzi on Fender Rhodes & electric keyboards, Giovanni Maier on basses, Pacho on percussion and Tiziano Tononi on drums. Danile Cavallanti’s tenor sax should be familiar to anyone who’s ever listened to Italian Instabile or Nexus orchestras. Besides guitar god, Nels Cline, the only other fellow here that recognize is their drummer, Tiziano Tononi, who has done three great tribute discs for Coltrane, Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman and whose bands have included Cavallanti and Maier from this project. Daniele composed or co-composed five of the six songs here, with one by bandmember Massaron. “Cline’s Line” opens with an intense, jazz/rock power trio featuring Nels, but soon gets into a great, somewhat funky groove with Giovnni’s acoustic bass buzzing quickly as Simone plays some fine wah-wah electric piano. A bit Weather Report-like, from their early days. “Ahimsa/The Long Song Blues” has a superb, freer electric Miles-like vibe, with a fine laid-back tenor solo from Daniele and great electric piano sizzling underneath. “Moods for Dewey” was written for the late Dewey Redman many years back, long before his recent passing. That sly melody is infectious and both guitarists swirl layers of lines underneath the sax solo and Nels taking an amazing jazz guitar solo. In many ways this disc is reminiscent of the better electric jazz or fusion records of the seventies without many of the cliches and the sax as the central soloist on much of this. Both guitars and electric piano do a great deal of weaving their note around one another and creating sumptuous moods. The player that often stands out here besides Nels is contabassist, Giovanni Maier, who consistently spins a web of dynamic acoustic bass creativity. Nels takes one those “Holy shit!” guitar solos on “Fabrizio’s Mood” as Tiziano’s powerful drums and Daniele’s smokin’ sax answer the call. We never know where our next gem will come from, but this week it is from somewhere in Italy. – BLG

Bruce Lee Gallanter

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