Filippo Cosentino: Leave The Thorn, Take The Rose

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Well-known for his work in a variety of contemporary contexts, and a specialist in the baritone guitar, the Italian Cosentino has put together a tasty trio (augmented at times by trumpet, alto sax and tuba) for this fresh chamber music take on an old theme, the melding of matters jazz and classical.

If you have enjoyed Jacques Loussier’s many ventures in this field – or warmed to the recent ACT release Monteverdi In The Spirit Of Jazz – you are likely to relish what Cosentino and his compatriots bring, with telling economy, to the lucid structures and cantabile melodies of J S Bach and Handel, Pachebele, Pergolesi and Monteverdi. Intriguingly, Arnold Schoenberg is also in the mix. The father of serialism is co-credited with Bach on the opening 552, where Notabella’s spare trumpet brings a touch of La Strada-like atmosphere to the mellow proceedings.

Fuga A 3 Voci is the only Cosentino piece here. Featuring him on electric guitar, its (further) electronically enhanced and clipped swing offers pure jazz and I wish it had been given a touch more space than the minute and a half it gets. Following Cosentino’s measured solo reading of Sarabande, Calipso Bach [sic] cooks quietly but firmly – as does Joy. The interplay of Chirio’s tasty electric bass grooves and Arese’s airy work with brushes is captured beautifully in the recording of both tracks.

Restrained yet quietly magical flamenco accents, courtesy of uncredited percussive hand-claps, distinguish El Baile De Las Hadas and Siciliana while Part 2 of Lamento Di Arianna features some light but telling touches of instrumental colour from trumpet, alto sax and tuba. Elegant and characterful music, this, from first note to last.

Discography
(2) 552; (1) Sarabande/Calipso Bach; Lascia La Spina; Joy; El Baile De Las Hadas; Belinda; Nina; Siciliana; Fuga A 3 Voci; (3) Lamento Di Arianna Parts 1 & 2 ( 40.01)
(1) Cosentino (g, elg, electronics); Carlo Chirio (elb); Lorenzo Arese (d). (2) as (1) plus Giuseppe Notabella (t). (3) as (2) plus Filippo Ansaldi (as); Giovanni Forti (tu). Alba, 11-12 January 2020.
Da Vinci Jazz C00287