AMN Reviews: Sadhana – Sadhana [Plus Timbre PT054]

Sadhana, the Neapolitan trio of Massimo Imperatore on guitar and effects, Umberto Lepore on double bass, objects and bells, and drummer Marco Castaldo, take the jazz guitar trio through both conventional and challenging soundworlds, always following a path of musically impeccable logic.

Both tracks are structured as suites alternating melodic improvisation with abstract sound; the transitions between sections are smooth and make the relationship between melody and noise a reciprocal, mutually inevitable one. The nearly thirty-six minute long opening track starts with pristine, reverberant guitar notes quickly joined by double bass in a unison line. What develops is a vaguely implied, calypso-like harmonic progression seated on top of free-rhythm drumming and a restless bassline that seems on the verge of breaking into a regular walk, but never does. The piece dissolves into unpitched sounds—crisp drumming supplemented by creaking, scraping, the backwards-surge of a volume pedal or control. And then back again to melody, through several cycles. The shorter second track runs this script backward, starting with sound and developing into pitch.

Each of the pieces is notable for its clarity and transparency of texture, even when the music shades off into pure sound. Each individual voice maintains its unmistakable profile—the guitar its clean, round tone; the double bass a muted, pizzicato attack; the drums a firm, supporting presence. A very fine recording all around.

Daniel Barbiero