Music Reviews from the Staff of the Poison Pie Publishing House


August 25, 2021
Graduation - Il Sogno
Label: Gotta Let it Out Records: website & Bandcamp
Label: AUAND: website & Bandcamp
Catalog #: lpx2: AU5016, GLIO47LP & cd: AU5015, GLIO47CD
Country: Denmark (Gotta Let It Out) & Italy (AUAND)
Release Date: May 7, 2021
Media: lpx2, cd or digital download entry entry

Il Sogno is a trio composed of Italian pianist Emanuele Maniscalco, Polish-Danish double bass player Tomo Jacobson and Danish drummer Oliver Laumann. Graduation is their second album. (The first, Birthday, was reviewed by the staff of the Poison Pie Publishing House on June 30, 2018.) While the first album was entirely acoustic and the second features Maniscalco on Wurlitzer electronic piano and OB-6 analog synthesizer, the musical sensibilities that made Birthday appealing are again present in Graduation.

The trio fearlessly explores territory between genres, unafraid to insert pop melodies between evolving electronic soundscapes, in which Jacobson and Laumann feel no obligation to keep time by any regular chronometer. At the same time the so-called rhythm section never abandons the creative freedom that marks their identity as jazz musicians.

As listeners, we sense an intention to invite ears of many kinds to enjoy this music. It is welcoming rather than forbidding. Those who favor pleasing, familiar melodies will find them in abundance and those who lean toward abstraction will also discover comfortable tracts. When we think about the continual evolution of "creative music" from its historic roots in free jazz and the various branches it has produced in free improvisation and musics that eschewed melody and rhthym, sometimes entirely, we return to the notion that contemporary practitioners are finding their own way along various axes that range from melody to dissonance, from composition to improvisation, from rhthym to arrhythmic pacing and from tradition to innovation, rejecting nothing out of hand. On Graduation, Il Sogno samples from many disparate points along these spectra. The collective intuition of the trio's artistic sensibilities distinguishes this music. Maniscalco, Jacobson and Laumann have delivered a record to a world living through difficult times, which provides a welcome respite to catch our breath and relax for a spell.

The fifteen tracks run about 80 minutes and, on vinyl, are spread across two records, packaged in a gatefold sleeve.



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