Simone Guiducci Gramelot Ensemble
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Simone Guiducci Gramelot Ensemble
Felmay (

This music reminds me of some of the ECM releases of Louis Sclavis or Egberto Gismonti. Led by Guiducci on acoustic guitar, the band glides through some pastoral European jazz. Most of the melodies are played on accordion and clarinet, and firm harmonic support from the guitar provides a launching pad for convincing soloing. Guiducci's guitar work throughout is outstanding, whether as an accompaniment or in solo, and often seems to be the real focus of the music. The music is well thought out and at times seems closer to classical music, since the songs rarely follow jazz models. A couple of well-known guest soloists add timbral variety to most of the songs trumpeter Ralph Alessi, cellist Erik Friedlander, and Chris Speed (on clarinet), each appearing on two tracks. The energy provided by some of their more idiomatic jazz soloing keeps things from getting too mellow.

Although the inspiration for much of this music comes from the folk music of northern Italy, Guiducci has extended it to inhabit an area where folk, jazz, and classical music meet and nurture each other into a beautiful hybrid. - Joe Grossman

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