Blue-in-Green:RADIO

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

'The Gift' by Andrea Gomellini


Having gushed about A.MA Records' 'Plastic Estrogenus' by Gianluca Vigliar's Quintet, the Italian jazz label now follow that fantastic record up with 'The Gift' by guitarist Andrea Gomellini.

A.MA Records have really developed a thrilling catalogue of music celebrating contemporary Italian jazz artists including Vigliar, Antonio Trinchera, Alberto Parmegiani and now with Andrea Gomellini inducted into the fold, the label is pushing forward with another exciting year of releases.

Gomellini's talents have seen him evolve his passions from classical guitar to blues and ultimately finding its home within jazz.  Having studied and subsequently performed extensively overseas, Gomellini has amassed an incredible body of work including the formation of the Andrea Gomellini Quartet and their releases 'Four in Monk' (Philology, 2008) and 'Metamorfosi' (Zone di Musica, 2013), his contribution as guitarist for the Castelli Jazz Collective most notably with their album 'Plays Zawinul' (Pulsar Jazz, 2016) and not forgetting his appearance on Leo Young's fourteen minute genre-blending 'The Frascati Project' from 'The Unreleased Projects of Pronto Recordings' (2019).

With Gomellini on guitar, the Quintet assembled for 'The Gift' is rounded out by a range of stunning performers including pianist Danilo Blaiotta (Logan Richardson, Mike Applebaum), saxophonist Simone Alessandrini (Role Play Trio, IndiJazzsto), drummer Valerio Vantaggio (Jacopo Ferrazza Trio, Andrea Biondi) and double-bassist Jacopo Ferrazza (Jacopo Ferrazza Trio, Castelli Jazz Collective).

The album's title of 'The Gift' really opens up a running theme explored throughout the project's eight compositions with song titles including 'Hidden Treasure', 'The Gift' and 'Lost Treasure' but it's perhaps the closing number which provides the clearest context for the whole album, 'Il Dono di Euterpe' (translating to 'the gift of Euterpe').  Enshrined within Greek mythology, Euterpe is renowned as a muse for music and lyric poetry - musicians would invoke the name of Euterpe to inspire, guide and assist them in their compositions.

And it would appear that Euterpe's blessings have certainly presided over Gomellini's Quintet when you hear the very treasures presented over the course of these eight recordings.  The aforementioned 'Hidden Treasure' kicks the album off beautifully before moving to the project's title track, 'The Gift', and songs like 'J&G' and 'Labyrinth' which carry the sublime nature of the Quintet's music and interplay further.

Andrea Gomellini and the supporting players masterfully present music that is affectionate but also joyous - the entire album comes off as a celebration of music, the very art-form that unifies not only Gomellini and his players but unifies the listeners as well.  This album is Andrea Gomellini's gift to all of us.

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