ALEXANDER HAWKINS - Piano
ROBERTO OTTAVIANO - Soprano & Tenor Sax
“From Africa to the eternity”
Il loro duo è un esempio piuttosto emblematico di come abbiano inteso ed intendano far musica ed occupare il loro posto nel Jazz: in più frangenti lo si potrebbe definire lirico, nelle sue atmosfere raccolte e riflessive, ma nessuno dei due si ferma sull’altro ad indugiare sulla nota d’effetto; d’altra parte le strutture armoniche hanno spesso sapori sperimentali o quantomeno fuori dal consueto, ma nel loro suonare non c’è un radicalismo integralista, la musicalità non viene dimenticata, pur all’interno di una ricerca costante. Standard e composizioni originali (che naturalmente risentono delle rispettive e condivise esperienze con musicisti africani , americani ed europei), si alternano in un flusso che è dom inato dal magistrale interplay fra due menti musicali sofisticate e poetiche. Il risultato giunge a vertiginose altezze. Come già è stato scritto: un (grande) Jazz cercato, prima che ricercato.
“….the duet pieces with British pianist, Alex Hawkins, with the two musicians tackling the material head on. Perhaps easier at times in the sparser setting to focus on Ottaviano’s soprano sound from the highest notes that are played with such purity to the sweetness of the middle register and his willingness to wring every last nuance out the horn with his use of the lowest notes. Once again the musicians break free of any constraints that could be imposed in playing this material, and there are inevitably some fine Lacy compositions to hear, but it is on the non-Lacy tunes that the duo really find their feet and the spirit that was inherent in Steve’s work.
From the exuberance and joy that bubbles throughout Harry Miller’s ‘Orange Grove’ and the deeply lyrical and exploratory nature of Mal Waldron’s ‘The Seagull’s of Kristiansund’ the pair are constantly finding and sharing a joy in each other’s playing. Just listen to the way that they tear up ‘What It Is’ , also by Waldron, that is totally exhilarating and absorbing. It is most unusual for a musician to make what is perhaps their most personal statement by playing the music of others, especially such a towering figure as Lacy, but this is exactly what Ottaviano has done. But this Duo is essential listening not just for those with an interest in Lacy or Waldron, but also all who are interested in the development of soprano saxophone in contemporary Jazz”
Nick Lea for JazzViews
“ Ottaviano is joined by the British pianist Alexander Hawkins, who moves impressively along the wide technical and emotional gamut of Lacy’s aesthetic. The contrast between the extravert and explosive motifs of ‘Angels, Friends, Neighbours’, where Hawkins low register flurries are delicious, and the deeply sensitive chordal blanket he lays down on ‘The Seagulls of Kristiansund’ (by Lacy soulmate Mal Waldron), is excellent. While Ottaviano has vividly captured something of the spirit of the individual to whom he pays tribute he also asserts his own character in no uncertain terms and the two original pieces that bookend each album are testimony to that. An impressive reading of a difficult subject”.
Kevin Le Gendre for Jazz Wise