Sunday, November 20, 2022

Monica Nica Agosti / Shapex - Ornettiana [Aut Records 082]

Put out on the circuit via Davide Lorenzon's Aut Records imprint on September 12th, 2k22 is "Ornettiana", the first ever album release by the Monica Nica Agosti-led Shapex quintet. Vaguely inspired and infused by Ornette Coleman's take on improvised, yet harmonic music the ensemble caters a menu of eleven pieces over the course of roughly 46 minutes total runtime, with three of those even being originally written by Coleman himself and therefore probably well familiar to dedicated Jazz afficionados for a reason. Musically the journey starts from a point of a playful, experimental yet well vintage sounding FreeJazz / March fusion that's as grainy and granular as old black-and-white films from the 30's, stays close to this somewhat old timey sound aesthetic in the first Coleman-interpretation "Law Years" which is graced by Nica Agosti's improvised, highly expressive and high register vocal performance whereas the Tobia Bondesan-written "Brittle White" brings forth the vibe of a high class late night Jazz standard to be before "Kathelin Gray" presents as deep of a love song as can be, following the tradition of classic emotional and well touching broadway pieces. With these tunes paving the way for all things to come further highlights include the similarly touching ballad that is "Echoes From Fort Worth, Texas", the killer late night Jazz vibes of "Cooper's Game" as well as the uplifting Dancefloor Jazz provided by "Rollin'" and the heartfelt, rhythmically complex Jazz melancholia induced by "At The Funeral The Band Is Sad And Drunk" which might well be our favorite cut on this longplayer. One album highly recommended to all dedicated Jazz headz out there for a reason and probably also a well suitable gateway drug for all those who are curious about the genre in general and in need of a contemporary starting point for further explorations into high quality Jazz and beyond. A perfect winter album, this.

Album artwork on Instagram!


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