Wednesday 21 April 2021

'The Crossing' by Enzo Favata

'The Crossing' marks the debut release from Enzo Favata's quartet of renowned musicians following extensive performances and studio sessions dating back to the summer of 2020.

A project released through the Italian label, Niafunken - who we celebrated not too long ago namely through their excellent 'Mis sueƱos son irrenunciables, obstinados, testarudos y resistentes' album by Marco Colonna & Noise Of Trouble - 'The Crossing' marks another in an incredibly lengthy list of Favata projects that seek to explore beyond boundaries and subvert any and all expectations of what modern and contemporary jazz is supposed to sound like.

As a producer, saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist, Enzo Favata's music is a joy to behold.  A catalogue so varied and diverse with releases seemingly inspired by the otherwordly space explorations synonymous with Sun Ra ('Tangerine'), live album releases that showcase Favata gracing stages in Hong Kong and Saigon, soundtracks to Italian horror movies ('The Seer'), albums celebrating the works of John Coltrane ('Out Of Coltrane') and albums in between boasting a variety of different collaborations and ensembles. 

For 'The Crossing', Favata has aligned himself with a brilliant selection of core contributors including Pasquale Mirra (vibraphone and midi marimba), Marco Frattini (drums) and Rosa Brunello (electric bass and double bass) with featured guests throughout the album including Ilaria Pilar Patassini on vocals, cellist Salvatore Maiore and Maria Vicentini on violin amongst other contributors.  

Musically, there are some fantastic elements presented here as exemplified by the album opener, 'Roots' - backed by an understated vocal from Patassini, the whole song basks in this ethereal quality with twinges of electronica that deliver these almost magical compositions.  While all of the musicians shine throughout 'The Crossing', it's absolutely worth noting that vibraphonist Pasquale Mirra's efforts on songs provide such a warm and exciting texture to the overall dynamic of the core quartet which really makes his inclusion an invaluable one.  

A further special mention has to go to the album closer, 'Oasis' - a spiritual jazz workout which over the course of the track's twelve minutes masterfully builds to a thrilling - almost raucous - second half bursting with energy.  A glorious end to a fantastic album.

'The Crossing' delivers as another inspired project from the boundless talents of Favata.  Credited on songs as saxophonist and turning in a wide variety of additional duties including keyboards, samples, theremin, Indian flute, live electronics amongst so much more, Enzo Favata seems to be as excited about making music today as he potentially was with his first ever release and it's exhilarating to witness.

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