Touching Extremes review by Massimo Ricci

Bernardo Sassetti Trio – Nocturno (CF 008)

“Nocturno” is made of elegant jazz that moves with a mixture of laconicism and sadness, both typical features of this composer’s music; the players comprise the leader on piano, Carlos Barretto on double bass and Alexandre Frazão on drums. Johnny Mandel and Paul Webster’s “Time for love” starts the album with that kind of melancholic ballad upon which many artists have built their fortune on, while “Sonho dos outros” continues on that path, its sorrowfulness slightly adjusted in an atmosphere recalling certain seminal ECM releases of the seventies. The linear trajectories and overall clarity of the title track are its major strengths; on the other hand, “Olhar” strangely reminds me of Vince Guaraldi’s instrumentals in the “Charlie Brown Christmas” soundtrack, except for its middle-eastern refrain. Federico Mompou is represented by two versions of “Musica callada Mov.1” – the first a poignant trio with a splendid arcoed exposition by Barretto, the second for solo piano – and “Cançon No.7”, whose easier development is never perceived as a limit for beauty. One just have to read the title of “Monkais” to understand that this is the most angular piece of the whole disc, Frazão sustaining its dissonant architecture with excellent dynamism (plus a very nice drum solo). Even at its most accessible level, the music of Sassetti never fails to entice and, one way or another, conquer our soul.

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