Hot Tracks #01

Glauco Venier: Suite per Pier Paolo 
(Artesuono, 2022)

Artist: Glauco Venier
Album: Suite per Pier Paolo
Published: June 24, 2022
Label: Artesuono Recording
Produced by: Stefano Amerio
Recorded by: Stefano Amerio
Recorded at: Artesuono Studios (Udine, IT)
Mixed by: Stefano Amerio
Mastered by: Stefano Amerio

Glauco Venier: piano
Alba Nacinovich: vocals, harmonizer, loop
Francesco Diodati: electric guitar
Marcello Allulli: tenor sax, soprano sax

the late Pier Paolo Pasolini developed a strong, sentimental connection to the Friuli region, and the Friulani people, fascinated as he was by local cultural landscape, and the language spoken there.

originally premiered in 2016 at the Teatro Comunale in Casarsa by Glauco Venier and Alba Nacinovich, at that time accompanied by Alessandro Turchet on double bass and Luca Colussi on drums, the album now produced by Stefano Amerio and released by his Artesuono label contains instead a reworked arrangement with no bass and no drums, replaced as they’ve been by Francesco Diodati’s guitar and Marcello Allulli’s tenor and soprano saxophones.

Glauco Venier has quite a number of albums in his name on ECM Records, the Munich-based label founded in 1969 – and still directed to date – by Manfred Eicher, one with a very own, instantly discernible sound signature that has gained great popularity since 1977 with the release of Keith Jarrett’s Köln Concert…

Suite per Pier Paolo shows quite a range of essential traits that might place this album directly onto the ECM shelf in more than a records shop.
partly responsible for this is Stefano Amerio (with his recording-studio-with-record-label Artesuono based near Udine, in Friuli), who’s one of the very few sound engineers in the employ of ECM (and since quite a long period at that)…

the very fact that this album is published by Artesuono, Amerio’s own label, rather than ECM, can only hint at the willingness of both Artist and Producer to shape its sound gestalt to a wider or different latitude than if it had to comply with the tone recipe of Manfred Eicher’s very own ECM brand.

beside Glauco Venier, whose name was known to me for the above mentioned reasons, the other performers’ names on this work sound all new to me – and, honestly, what a shame to have discovered each of them only now!

listening to the vastly expressive, rich vocals of Alba Nacinovich on this project, one can easily figure the fascination that the Friulian language exerted on the writer, poet, and film director hommage’d by this suite – and admire Alba’s interpretation as even more extraordinary, considering how she was born (in Rijeka, Slovenja) in 1986, eleven years after Pier Paolo Pasolini was brutally murdered.

Francesco Diodati, on guitar, can be heard here weaving a lush soundscape that expands on the piano harmony, and one you often have to forcibly remind yourself it’s being crafted on a guitar, as fresh and original he’s playing here.

Marcello Allulli, on tenor and soprano saxophones, adds one further texture layer to the work, lending even more space and atmospherics in support to Alba’s vocals, with accents in a key that is devoid of any cliché you may have expected from any saxophones plugged into a piano-and-vocal run-of-the-mill setting that’s nowhere to be heard here.

anything sounds gorgeous, huge, and deep, on this record, perfectly in line with Stefano Amerio’s track record (pun intended) of ever – and while the musical source material is the opposite of banal and deja-heard, still it builds on the roots of jazz improvisation (although not declined in an African-American lingo), tinged with a definitely European key that’s almost Kammermusik.

changing cover pict, font and layout would have made no surprise the finding of this album within those released by the label both Glauco Venier and Stefano Amerio are so often linked to, at first listen.

being released on its own terms as label and production are concerned, it takes the greatest chance and opportunity to stand on so much else, drawn as it is on different influences, and delivering a plethora of listening pleasures – in terms of compositions, arrangements, performance, and sound aesthetics, too.

listen to it on Tidal • on Qobuz • on Apple Music

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