Wednesday 11 November 2020

'A Peaceful Place' by Pippo D'Ambrosio

Pippo D'Ambrosio releases his new album 'A Peaceful Place' through Italy's A.MA Records.

Not content with having gifted audiences with genuinely some of the most exquisite jazz albums this year - courtesy of Andrea Gomellini's 'The Gift', Sanja Markovic's 'Ascension' and Sébastien Jarrousse Quartet's 'Attraction' - A.MA Records are managing to squeeze in one final gem before the year's end marking their new collaboration with the revered drummer, percussionist and producer, Pippo D'Ambrosio.

D'Ambrosio's incredible résumé dates as far back as the late-1990s and with a career spanning nearly 25 years, his name has graced projects from an awesome array of talent including Laraaji, Antoni O'Breskey, Radiodervish, Serena Fortebraccio as well as releases for Schema Records early in his career even securing a coveted spot on Nicola Conte's 'Jet Sounds' (2000).  Whether his talents are employed to enhance music from some of the aforementioned luminaries or whether he is releasing music under his own name, including projects like Pippo D'Ambrosio & The Arkam Prospect, Pippo D'Ambrosio's name has become synonymous with outstanding quality within Italian jazz's thriving landscape and his aligning with A.MA Records marks an exciting new chapter within his own musical legacy. 

'A Peaceful Place' is an album that finds its inspiration through the works of Sufi poetry and cherished works by Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, Farid Ad-Din ‘Attar and Jalal al-Din Rumi.  The writings of Jalal al-Din Rumi resonate throughout the project in particular as his noted explorations into the meaning of "love" are still heralded works to this day - the all-consuming nature of the emotion and how it subsequently interweaves towards the notion of self-knowledge.  Spoken word interludes throughout the album, delivered by David Place, appear to dabble within these concepts most notably in 'My Path' through the enduring words, "The soul of man lies in the continuous dilemma of choice".

These are masterful themes in which to base a project around and themes that D'Ambrosio and his awe-inspiring roster of assembled musicians absolutely deliver justice to, taking these centuries-old ideals and reconceptualising them in such a contemporary context is inspired.  The project is accentuated by beautiful vocal performances by Donatella Montinaro and Serena Armstrong Fortebraccio who are aided by such flawless musicianship by Mike Rubini and Francesco Lomangino on saxophones, Giorgio Distante on trumpet, Domenico Ares Cartago on keys, Marco Bardoscia on double bass and Alberto Parmegiani on guitar.  Giuseppe Tuppi B Larocchia on turntables provides a nice juxtaposing hip-hop aesthetic while vibraphonist Gianluca Luisi provides such warm textures to D'Ambrosio's compositions.

'A Peaceful Place' rounds out such a fantastic year for A.MA Records who seem to connect with an increasing number of unrivalled talent as the years pass.  With much excitement we await the label's treasures for 2021 and certainly await more from the wonderful music of Pippo D'Ambrosio.

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