Wednesday 23 March 2022

'Children's Soul' by Ipocontrio

'Children's Soul' is the new album release from the Ipocontrio collective available through A.MA Records.

Following their initial formation as far back as 2009, the Ipocontrio trio have certainly walked a long road together in their journey towards their now third album release.  Comprised of pianist Bruno Salicone, double bassist Francesco Galatro and drummer Armando Luongo, Ipocontrio's pure-of-heart celebration of jazz and improvisation has long defined the trio's overall aesthetic and approach to music-making and composition.

With their debut having been released in 2011 following their success at the St.Louis Jazz College of Music's European Jazz Contest, 'The Beginning of A Love Affair' became a project that took Ipocontrio to stages across Europe to play alongside world class musicians.  The experience would subsequently broaden each of their understanding and appreciation of jazz compositions on a broader scope and scale and positively impact their music going forward.

'Continuum' - Ipocontrio's second album release - would follow in 2016 and would seek to diversify their sound by incorporating a new dimension in the form of trumpeter Alessandro Presti who features throughout the album.  'Continuum' would also hold the notable distinction of being the first record for Ipocontrio, as a collective and as individual musicians, to fall under the A.MA Records umbrella and it's an exciting relationship that has served the musicians well in the years that have followed.  Outside of Ipocontrio, pianist Bruno Salicone saw the release of his solo offering 'Happy' (2019) which featured bassist Francesco Galatro as part of the album's ensemble while Armando Luongo served as the drummer for Alberto Parmigianni's 'On My Radio', released in 2018, again, through A.MA.

Whether it be through their solo endeavours or through their unified efforts, Salicone, Luongo and Galatro continually prove themselves as adept and masterful performers but there's an undeniable chemistry - or magic - that's generated with the three playing together which is what makes a new Ipocontrio release a project to be celebrated.  

And 'Children's Soul' absolutely lives up to expectations...

Over the course of the album's eight tracks, the trio perform with an impassioned vigour that breathes life into the more spirited numbers like the album's opening title track, 'Day Dreamer' and 'Orione', while delivering equally exquisite performances for the more ballad-inspired compositions like 'When She's Not Here' and 'Light Mood'.  Much like Alessandro Presti's incredible contribution to 'Continuum', 'Children's Soul' benefits from the revered presence of the British-born Canadian saxophonist Seamus Blake who blesses four of the album's eight tracks.  Blake's fantastic career has seen him release numerous projects as a band leader dating back to the early-mid 90s as well as having performed alongside names including Monday Michiru and Mingus Big Band.  Blake delivers some wonderful moments throughout the album and boasts some inspired interplay between the Ipocontrio team.

'Children's Soul' is a magnificent project indicative of the talents of all of its contributors.  It's elegant, playful, and masterfully captures the pure-of-heart sincerity and devotion that the trio have for their craft. 

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