This is Italian cellist Guerri’s third album and on it he presents a range of innovative pieces that span a range of musical styles and technical challenges. He has a background in performances ranging from electronica to avant-garde rock and free jazz, but it’s hard to classify the nature of this particular album. The solo performance and deeply emotional tone of the instrument puts it more in the contemporary classical bracket than modern jazz.
In addition to spending the last two decades exploring his approach to solo cello, Guerri has also worked as an educator in Bologna hospital, working with young people dealing with mental disorders. This perhaps explains the sense of intensity in some of the music, which is not always an easy listen, given the experimental nature of both composition and the sounds generated.
Alternative tunings and different sound textures are a big part of this album. By changing the relation of the strings to one another, Guerri reveals strange new musical intervals and sonic inventions. On one track, Paper, the passage that opens the piece is a result of a long piece of paper threaded through the strings of the cello, which are further altered through metal curtain clips clamped on them, creating a weird percussive rattle.
It’s the concentration on the prepared sounds and electronics that perhaps detracts from the music a little bit in places. It is certainly engaging and novel, but listeners will be left scratching their heads on how this in any way connects with jazz.
Lucy (Overture); Su Mimmi Non Si Spara!; Ciacco; Minose; Your Beginning; Viola; Paper; Medusa; AFK; Mimmi Resisti; My (Ha)nd (46.14)
Guerri (clo, elec). Bologna, Italy no date.