The Claudio Scolari Project releases ‘Don’t Know’

The Claudio Scolari Project releases its sixth album Don’t Know, another journey into jazz experimentation inspired by images and emotions on which the artists create a completely improvised soundtrack.

Having reviewed Cosmology, the Projects fifth album release I was already aware of the style of sound this band produces and that sound is predominantly electronic based soundscapes over which Simon Scolari plays his trumpet lines. The trumpet playing is fine in so far that it is not dominated by the electronica, there are nice runs, clear tone and the notes ring out. What the trumpet sound does not give me is any sense of a tonal colour palette, pitch variations are there but the timbre of the sound feels a touch one dimensional for my taste.

The twelve tracks are based around relatively simple sounding themes with either the piano or trumpet taking the lead on the melody – in fact I would say that it is the piano of Daniele Cavalca that provides the tonal variations I like to hear in the music. The electronic soundscapes that underpin the melodies are not intrusive and blend rather well with the trumpet and piano.

The opening track ‘Siculiana’ has a great piano line and sounds good against the trumpet with the bass of Michele Cavalca punching through. I enjoyed the elegiac sound of the album’s title track, and the percussion on ‘Fireworks’ I thought was very well delivered and not as energetic as perhaps the tune’s title may have suggested – I quite enjoy having my expectations subverted. ‘Underground Wave’ has the now familiar blend of trumpet and piano that gives this album the contemporary jazz feel against the more experimental synth sound until you get to ‘Night Moon’ where a freer jazz styling comes to the fore.

This is not the style of jazz that I would usually choose to listen to, but I do recognize that this is not too leftfield as to put me off revisiting the album at a later date. I did enjoy the fact that the tunes are not overly complicated or that the musicians are fighting each other to be heard. I do like the space between the notes on the trumpet, piano, and bass lines that allow me to absorb the sound without being consumed by too busy a production. I would suggest that Cosmology is my preferred album release of the two I have reviewed, I would also suggest that you compare and contrast and come to your own conclusion.

Musicians: Claudio Scolari – drum set 1, synth programming; Daniele Cavalca – drum set 2, live synths, rhodes, piano; Simone Scolari – trumpet; Michele Cavalca – electric bass.

Tracklist: 1. Siculiana. 2. Binary Code. 3. E-Walzer. 4. Goose Bumps. 5. Don’t Know. 6. Fireworks. 7. Wet Sand. 8. Underground Wave. 9. Sentimentale. 10. Night Moon. 11. Cold Water.

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