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North Clouds





My Journey

Poetto's Wind

The Plane is Late

Dancing Swan

Charlottenlund Beach

North Clouds

Dreaming Waltz

Lover Stay Away


Fabio Giachino (piano); Matthias Flemming Petri (double-bass); Espen Laub Von Lilienskjold (drums) with Benjamin Koppel (tenor and soprano saxophones); Paolo Russo (bandoneon)

Recorded September 2016, The Village Studio, Copenhagen


This is pianist Fabio Giachino’s first international project as leader and his trio is joined by two guests throughout the course of this nine-track album. Stylistically a free-ranging artist his major influences seem to be a confluence of Keith Jarrett and McCoy Tyner and given that all the pieces bar one are his own compositions this disc allows one to appreciate the variety of moods and inflexions of which he is capable.

My Journey evokes the heady days of Jarrett and Charlie Haden – incarnated by bassist Matthias Flemming Petri – in their late 60s encounters, slowly ruminating, romantic but exceptionally communicative in the way that Jarrett’s take on Bob Dylan’s My Back Pages was fulsome and ardent. There’s a rather more acidic and brittle element at work on The Plane is Late, where Espen Laub Von Lilienskjold’s drum are angular and cutting before the music relaxes to incorporate a nuanced look at Tango Nuevo courtesy of the fluent and elegantly stylish contribution of Paolo Russo’s bandoneon. Indeed, Benjamin Koppel, who plays tenor and soprano saxes, and Russo both join for three numbers, though only overlap on one, Charlottenlund Beach which is a slow, insinuating affair with intricate rhythms, a full attractive ensemble sound and a fine hummable theme.

The trio turns in a bluesy, occasionally Gospel-tingedDancing Swan whilst Country hues gently inflect North Clouds, an off-kilter jauntily-voiced number that again seems to hearken back to Jarrett’s influence. In fact, dance is never far from matters thematic in this album, as Dreaming Waltz shows, the bandoneon generating a fast-flowing component for the leader’s virtuosic soloing. The longest track – but only just – is Lover Stay Away which reprises Giachino’s great ability to pen attractive themes and to develop them engagingly. This too pays its dues to the blues – and allows brief drum breaks. The album ends with Ellington’s Azalea where the trio is joined by Koppel.

This thoroughly attractive disc never tries too hard. There is a naturalness of expression at work and a clear, though unobtrusive, absorption of influences that criss-cross Americana.

Jonathan Woolf


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