AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Mahakaruna Quartet – Life Practice [Setola di Maiale SM4360]

From the Mahakaruna Quartet comes this substantive and thoroughly enjoyable set of jazz-based free improvisation. The group, consisting of Giorgio Pacorig (Fender Rhodes piano and electronics); Gabriele Cancelli (trumpet); Cene Resnik (tenor saxophone); and Stefano Giust (drums and cymbals), were recorded live at the Jazzmatec Festival in Udine in Northeast Italy in the covid-darkened days of September, 2020. The resulting music surely must count among the few positive things to emerge from that year.

Over the course of the set, which has been broken up into six tracks for the album, the quartet produces a cooperatively crafted improvisation notable for its vivid blending of color and intelligent use of variable dynamics. Pacorig’s Fender Rhodes and electronics play a particularly key but discreet role in weaving together the overall texture; integrating contemporary electronics into what is essentially an acoustic context can be difficult to do well, but Pacorig manages to do it with a light but sure touch. Cancelli and Resnik demonstrate themselves to be first-rate collective players, and Guist once again plays with a sensitivity and musicality virtually unequaled among improvising drummers.

Daniel Barbiero

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