Saturday, February 24, 2024

Circles 44 - In The Grip [Aut Records 103]

Released on the Berlin x Italia axis label Aut Records on January 31st, 2k24 and following up to the groups album named "Cratere" is "In The Grip", the sophomore longplay effort cooked up and conceived by Circles 44. Released roughly four years after their firstling we see Massimiliano Amatruda, Joseph Circelli and Andrea Grillini being joined by Achille Succhi on various clarinet iterations on this roughly 49 minutes spanning collection of eight new pieces, opening with the tender, yet ever spiralling and explorative "Spiral Dance" which sets the tone for the Jazz explorations to come with its rhythmic, evolving and undeniable funkiness before "1005" dives deep into lively late night Jazz drama for uptempo connaisseurs. The albums title track is of a slow, yet muscular nature weighing in crime scene vibes and heavy resonating piano chords alongside sparse, yet expertly placed drums and extended clarinet solos, "Gate" offers playful and tentative layerings of corresponding rhythm signatures whereas "Circles" sees the ensemble explore late night Jazz backed by carefully arranged piano movements and an intricate, ever corresponding melodic interplay between the protagonists which culminates in a dramatic finale. Furthermore "Line (First Approach)" caters a deep and rather minimalist approach to the free form evolution of the groups sound before building up to climactic heights, "The Affirmative Dot" opens with sequence a of plucked, electronically processed strings as a backbone for large scale romanticisms and intertwined uplifting melodic layerings before the cryptically named closing cut "A.A. 1942" provides the most solemn and nocturnal feel and probably could be filed under the flag of Jazz Noir for a reason. Quite a deep one, that last track is.


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