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«N-Est» documents the new trio of Italian reeds hero Marco Colonna with double bass player Dario Miranda and drummer Fabrizio Spera. This trio released another album last year, «Scaleno» (28Records, 2020). «N-Est» was recorded at Abbey Rocchi studios in Roma in September 2019.

The cover art shows an egg in a bonsai tree, and following this painting suggestion, «N-Est» offers fresh and open dynamics. Colonna – on bass clarinet, alto sax and flute, is the obvious leader and composed all the short pieces except one. The driving rhythm section of Miranda and Spera keeps pushing him and offers imaginative percussive colors.

Few pieces stand out and demonstrate the creative dynamics of this fine trio. The cinematic «Aspen», with Colonna playing a lyrical melody on the flute while Miranda and Spera contrast his impressive lyricism with chaotic percussive touches. Colonna sounds on the Monk-ish «Yucca» – with the bass clarinet – as paying respect to the great Eric Dolphy. Steve Lacy’s «Blues for Aida», already covered in «Scaleno», and Colonna’s «Soma» receive exotic but beautiful arrangements, with Colonna playing the flute as an Eastern folk instrument. «Naoki», with Colonna on the bass clarinet, suggests a delicate, chamber atmosphere. Colonna sketches an enigmatic atmosphere on the last piece «Dara», using extended breathing techniques to offer meditative and fascinating tones and overtones and to cement the rich sonic vision of this new trio.

Eyal Hareuveni 

Marco Colonna (cl, bcl, as, fl), Dario Miranda (b), Fabrizio Spera (dr)

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