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Franco Ambrosetti — Nora
(Enja ENJ-9811, 2022, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2022-11-11

Nora Cover art

Once again, trumpeter Franco Amborsetti presents a set of mellow ballads, this time augmented by strings. I know there’s a long tradition of jazz musicians doing the “with strings” album, and some of them have entered the ranks of classics, but by the time the second track of Nora was about halfway through, my main thought was, “Wow, this is awful.” After a bit more listening —as a reviewer, I kind of have to keep at it — the assessment was revised to “not really awful, just boring.” The rendition of “All Blues” (track 3) almost has a spark of energy to it, but “Falling in Love” is sappy enough to make me long to listen to something else — almost anything would do. I will hereby admit that I have abrogated my duties and hit the “next track” button. Unfortunately, “Autumn Leaves” is just as bad. I’ll spare us all any further descriptions — suffice it to say that I am not a fan of this kind of jazz. Many listeners out there love this kind of stuff, as testified by some of the glowing reviews that other writers have given it, but I can’t stand it. I won’t say the musicians involved lack talent or skill, but what they’re doing does not appeal to me one bit. John Scofield’s guitar solo on “After the Rain” is a brief bright spot, but not worth enduring the other seven minutes of the track. In solidarity with the musicians, I hope Nora finds its audience. Just don’t make me listen to it again.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Franco Ambrosetti, John Scofield


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