Italian flutist Stefano Leonardi continues his collaboration with Swiss double bass player Fridolin Blumer and percussionist Heinz Geisser, that have begun on his «Conversations About Thomas Chapin» (Leo Records, 2014). Now he adds to his team fellow-Italian clarinetist Marco Colonna and cellist Antonio Bertoni. «L’eterno» – the eternal – recorded in Milan on July 2017, is titled after the silvery , dead trunk of an old Swiss pine, the remains of a majestic tree struck lightning, located in the Lsgorai mountains, The Eastern Alps in North Italy, not far away from Leonardi town, Trento, and close to Italian border with Switzerland and Austria.
The image of this mysterious, centuries-old, motionless trunk, standing on a stone bloc, deprived from its limbs but challenging any weather conditions, fits well the spirit of this free-improvised meeting. The quintet music do not subscribe to any genre or specific era, or era, navigating organically between elements of modern and chamber jazz, folk music and classic and contemporary music. As the nature itself, the music captures an immediate, transient quality – now it is here, now it is gone – but its documentation, like the forest that surrounds «L’eterno», can last for much longer.
The eight pieces stress the emphatic rapport of Leonardi, who plays here also on traditional wooden flutes, Colona and Bertoni, alternating between searching for a common voice and contrasting each other’s personal voices, all fueled by the restless, fractured pulses of Blumer and Geisser. With each piece the interplay of this quintet sounds deeper, more nuanced and open to more risky dynamics. The quiet and enigmatic «Spirits Inside» and «Eternal Voice» have a seductive, cinematic quality; «Resistance» translates the firm standing of «L’eterno» to an intense and uncompromising dynamics; «Echoes» sounds as beginning a new school of folk music and the last, playful «At Last, Forever» goes full-circle and brings to mind the great, timeless music of Thomas Chapin.
Stefano Leonardi (fl, sulittu, launeddas), Marco Colonna (cl, altcl, bcl), Antonio Bertoni (c), Fridolin Blumer (doub), Heinz Geisser (perc, waterphone)