Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Claudio Scolari Project — Cosmology
(Bandcamp no#, 2021, CD / DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-07-22
Claudio Scolari (first drums, piano, synthesizer, and flute) is the de-facto leader of this Project with his brother Simone Scolari on trumpet; Daniele Cavalca plays second drums, synth, piano and electric piano, and Dan’s brother Michele Cavalca plays electric bass. We reviewed the quartet’s 2019 album Upside Down in early 2020, and before the end of 2020 their newest offering Cosmology was recorded, released in early 2021. Their stock in trade is jazz with a fair amount of improvisation and a modern twist that includes plenty of electronics. In fact the sound profile of the earlier album and this latest one are very similar — it almost seems they could have been recorded in the same session, but the difference is that Cosmology seems much tighter overall and better realized arrangement-wise. The compositions are the work of Claudio and Daniele, thirteen tracks executed brilliantly by the band, simultaneously edgy and soft, full of crazy turns and twists. I think last time I referenced Miles Davis as an influence, and this time I will add Sun Ra to that list (but without any vocals), just calling things as I hear them. One hears Simone’s trumpet throughout the set (last time he was AWOL during some of the tracks), which really gives the quartet much of its character, and the double drumming when it occurs is simply crazy amazing. Electronic sounds are their other secret weapon that gives their sound immediacy and currency. It’s not something that one hears all the time, but when it’s there it adds a fresh balance. Many outstanding tracks among the set including the laid back “Blue Shift,” “Zenith” with its stirring electrifying percussive power, the gently strolling “Black Hole” that builds slowly across its six-plus minute duration before it all winds down, and “Spectrum,” where the listener is taken on a mysterious journey across the universe. Through most of the pieces, the effect is quite trance-like, with different things being noticed as one traverses along the limitless path.
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