Trombonist Gianluca Petrella comes out of the fertile Italian jazz scene and on this album he lets his hair down with what he calls his “Cosmic Band” on his own label (which has a cosmic reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey.) This album is ostensibly a tribute to cosmic bandleader and composer Sun Ra, and it works pretty well, reminiscent at times of Ra's grooving late 70's work. Nothing is revelatory on this album, but it is fun. He comes close to making this highly individual music his own, which is no mean feat. “Space is the Place” and “We Travel the Spaceways” get nice treatments from the band abetted by stinging electric guitar and saxophone. Fine saxophone soloing also abounds on “Three Undisciplined Satellites.” Petrella is a very generous bandleader, letting band members hold the spotlight, while he shines in a supporting role. It’s good to hear some of these Sun Ra compositions played by a young band, hopefully that will raise their profile and allow them to take their rightful place in the jazz canon. Coming Tomorrow - Part One - amazon.com
Send comments to Tim.
Vijay Iyer Trio – Break Stuff (ECM, 2015) ****1/2
12 hours ago