Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gabriele Mirabassi - Latakia Blend

In 2001 Mirabassi joined Rabih Abou-Khalil's group and soon became its foremost soloist who regularly brings the audience into a boiling state. While Rabih's music has an Arabic color, Gabriele's is deeply rooted in the folk music of his native Italy which he presents with great emotional power. Accordionist Luciano Biondini, who has also worked with such as Tony Scott and Enrico Rava, and tuba player Michel Godard, the most versatile exponent of his instrument worldwide, have been working with Mirabassi for quite a while - formerly as a quartet with additional drums or mandolin. All three of them are currently members in Rabih Abou-Khalil's band.
Gabriele Mirabassi (from Perugia) studied at the Morlacchi Conservatory and graduated in 1986 with highest honors. In the following years he mostly played contemporary classical music with the best European ensembles. However, already during those days he ventured into jazz and improvisation. Through his work with Richard Galliano, Sergio Assad, Stefano Battaglia and others he received good exposure at large festivals throughout the world. He was selected Talent of the Year in Italy in 1996 and presented his Brazilian project Pixinguinha at Umbria Jazz in 2001. Italian critic Guido Festinese described him as "a lucid, driving, unpredictable clarinet player with a voracious musical curiosity." Mirabassi has several albums under his own name on the Italian Egea label.
"Latakia Blend" is a charming album packed with thrilling original tunes. Graceful and inventive, it mixes the happiness and melancholia of folk dance music, the artistic perfection of a chamber ensemble and the improvisational drive of a jazz band. Consequently this album's program ranges from that sad Italian folk song "Gorizia" to Brazilian Chôro composer Pixinguinha's "Segura Ele" to an out-of-tempo rendition of Billy Strayhorn's ballad "Isfahan." And Mirabassi's warm clarinet adds nothing but pure beauty to all of them.

Artist: Gabriele Mirabassi
Album: Latakia Blend
Year: 2002
Label: Enja
Runtime: 54:48

1.  Girotondo (Gabriele Mirabassi) 4:20
2.  Gorizia (Traditional) 9:06
3.  Latakia Blend (Gabriele Mirabassi) 7:42
4.  Passacaille (Michel Godard) 4:17
5.  Isfahan (Billy Strayhorn) 4:55
6.  Non ci resta che... Chorar! (Gabriele Mirabassi) 3:40
7.  Segura ele (Pixinguinha) 2:03
8.  Burley e Perique (Gabriele Mirabassi) 4:40
9.  Michelone (Gabriele Mirabassi) 3:48
10.  Les vieux Allemands (Gabriele Mirabassi) 6:19
11.  Hotel Danubio (Gabriele Mirabassi) 4:04

Gabriele Mirabassi (Clarinet)
Luciano Biondini (Accordion)
Michel Godard (Tuba)



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