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«This Machine Kills Fascists»

Italian reeds player Francesco Bearzatti Tinissima 4tet is not only a passionate jazz unit but also a group that embodies jazz spirit of freedom, dissent and resistance. The previous albums of the Tinissima 4tet demonstrated these qualities – «Suite For Tina Modotti» (2008) was a tribute to the Italian photographer-model-actress (1896 – 1942), who was also a revolutionary communist; the follow-up, «X (Suite For Malcolm)» (2010) was dedicated to the African-American human rights activist, and even «Monk’N’Roll» (2013) blended the legacy of Thelonious Sphere Monk with rebellious rock n’ roll. The new album, «This Machine Kills Fascists», is a homage to the great American folk singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie, quoting the words Guthrie placed on his guitar.

Guthrie was a rebellious artist, novelist and political activist who has sung about the other America, the working class and outcasts, always siding against the iniquities of politicians and capitalists at the times of the Great Depression, union struggles and hopes in the New Deal. Bearzatti Tinissima 4tet do not cover any of Guthrie many familiar songs, except for a straight ahead cover of the folk anthem «This Land Is Your Land», but offer a fresh musical journey that captures Guthrie spirit of solidarity, passion and resistance. This journey begins at Guthrie’s hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma, and winds its way through sandstorms, wanderings by train, ragged clothes and New York. It ends with a touching ballad dedicated to Sacco & Vanzetti (after the Italian-born American anarchists Nicola Sacco Bartolomeo Vanzetti who were unfairly tried and wrongfully convicted of murder, and were executed in 1927, for whom Guthrie had written the compilation, («Ballads of Sacco & Vanzetti»), intensified by the operatic, wordless vocals of Petra Magoni.

Tinissima 4et incorporates bluesy and some folk undertones throughout «This Machine Kills Fascists», expressed by the electric bass Danilo Gallo or the 4tet trains rattles and hums sounds, but these sonic elements only ornamenting the rich and open palette of this album. Bearzatti musical vision is parallel to the one of Guthrie, music of the people and for the people. Bearzatti songs resound the innocent and simple daily joys and hopes of last century 30’s and 40’s, delivered with a great passion and infectious rhythmic power but also suggests clever and playful, sing-along anthems, songs that call people to stand up for their rights one. The Tinissima 4et is a strong and balanced unit. The front line of Bearzatti and trumpeter Giovanni Falzone often complete and enrich each other ideas and the rhythm section of bass player Danilo Gallo and drummer Zeno De Rossi keeps the driving, swinging rhythm.

Bearzatti Tinissima 4tet offers the right music for the wrong times.

Eyal Hareuveni

Francesco Bearzatti (ts, cl, v), Danilo Gallo (b, v), Giovanni Falzone (tp, human eff, v), Zeno De Rossi (dr, perc, v), Petra Magoni (v)

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