01. Banda B
02. Il Girande Cocomero
03. Stabat Mom
04. Roma Ovest 643
05. Il Valzer del Povero
06. Ferie Diagosto
09. Tema di Petro e Ghisola
Enrico Rava – trumpet
Gabriele Mirabassi – clarinet
Gianni Coscia – accordion
Battista Lena – guitar
Enzo Pietropaoli – double bass
Marcello Di Leonardo – drums
Banda B Somma di Chianciano Terme
Paolo Scatena – director
Recorded at Theatre Poliziano, Montepulciano, Italy, 1996-11-30 and 1996-12-01
This is another of those landmark recordings that had me taking further notice of Label Bleu’s output. You open the CD case and are confronted with the list of the 48 members of the Banda B. Somma Di Chianciano Terme – that they employ a 9 piece 2nd clarinet section seems especially outrageous and with your spine tingling in anticipation, you think ‘I must hear this… Now!’
Battista Lena has taken this delightfully ragged wind orchestra and put together a programme of attractive marches and waltzes for his star soloists to play with. The material owes more to Nino Rota than Rossini but unlike the Pino Minafra inspired Italian Instabile Orchestra, Lena uses the band largely to provide a static framework for the soloists. This initially may appear limiting but the youthful exuberance of the Banda carries much charm which easily compensates for this and the fixed space for improvisation concentrates the minds of the soloists Enrico Rava, Gianni Coscia and Gabriele Mirabassi – all sound like they are all having tremendous fun.
The disc opens with Banda, a dizzy circus theme that introduces the whirling orchestra in its full glory before Enrico Rava embarks on his first scrabbled trumpet solo. Gabriele Mirabassi follows with a few bars of squalling clarinet before the orchestra gear up and with all the subtlety of a stampeding elephant conclude the theme.
Much of the material follows a similar form, often using a simple theme which is programmed through a number of changes of tempo and by adding some delicious harmonies. All the soloists have their moments, Lena himself contributing some well placed arpeggios on Stabat Mom. Perhaps the most compelling track of all though is Valzers a superb waltz in which the soloists seem to dance in partnership with the band. (John Traynor, an unofficial Label Bleu discography)
FR Un des nombreux incontournables de chez Label Bleu, peut-être même plus incontournable encore tant ce disque fait du bien (aux oreilles, mais pas seulement).
ENG You know how it works, as usual Label Bleu equals highly recommended.