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Dan Cavalca — Lights of Red Island
(Principal Records no #, 2021, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-08-18

Lights of Red Island Cover art Eleven years prior to this writing, multi-instrumentalist and composer Dan Cavalca was invited to collaborate with Claudio Scolari (also a multi-instrumentalist) to work on their debut offering Colors of Red Island, along with Claudio’s brother Simone (trumpet). During the ensuing years the trio eventually became a quartet adding Cavalca’s brother Michele on electric bass, at which point rather than listing every members’ name on the recordings, the group simply became the Claudio Scolari Project. Concurrent with their output, Dan Cavalca (drums, synths, Rhodes, piano, and electronics) has composed and released his own music alongside that of the Claudio Scolari Project, as well as playing with and producing other artists. The new album, Lights of Red Island, is in fact dedicated to that earlier collaboration. On this newer release, Cavalca maintains many of the rhythmic and melodic parts from the original, but has rearranged them, giving the music a new sound, with the blessing of Scolari. While the twelve tracks herein cover a fairly wide range of styles – instrumental jazz, classical, pop, electronica, there are even some unusual vocals on one track (“Infinite Silence”) along with spoken parts. While the set is predominantly synth, keyboard, and electronic based – along with drums and electronic drums, there are additional instruments like trumpet which one has to presume were supplied by Simone Scolari, or parts pulled forward from the original Colors… and re-integrated into the new set. The original eleven track titles are all reproduced here, except the tracks are generally much more succinct, typically only three minutes or so each as opposed to the five to eight minute lengths of the originals. Taken as a whole, the pieces have the flavor of a film soundtrack, effortlessly shifting from powerful melodics to dreamy segues, from catchy whirlwinds of electronics to soaring bits of tasty color. Cavalca has included a bonus track, “Hymn of the Inventions,” at the end of the program with a strong melody that fits in nicely with the rest of the program. All taken, Lights of Red Island is a diverse and refreshing slab of instrumental tunes that never overstay their welcome.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Dan Cavalca

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