Maria Chiara Argiro – The Fall Dance (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/48 kHz | Time – 54:33 minutes | 695 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Odradek Records
Italian pianist Maria Chiara Argirò’s album firmly falls into the contemporary Jazz camp and if you’re able to leave your prejudices aside, you’ll find a very beautiful album that will reap you rich rewards once you get into it. It has a strong, contemporary, urban, pulse that runs through it and, to my mind, also draws on some of the pastoral traditions of Folk. That it also manages to do this whilst remaining, on the whole, upbeat and absorbing in equal measure, is testimony to the skill of the composer and her collaborators.
The Fall Dance has real cross-over appeal, don’t think of it as a just a jazz record, but think of it as a great record. The playing is just superb, Lelia Martial’s folksy-smokey singing is a wondrous thing to hear. Mostly she does a form of vocally improvised scat singing – people are sometimes put off by scat – don’t be, when done well it’s an incredibly gymnastic form and Martial just excels at it. Also, the voice as an instrument, rather than singing conventionally, has a long long tradition in human culture, so there’s something really organic about hearing it alongside such modern and sophisticated compositions.
Rhythmically the album is strong throughout and Argirò is a generous enough composer to let each of her collaborators shine at different points – this in itself is the very essence of jazz quartets, quintets, sextets, etc – all the Jazz greats allow the accompanying instrumentalists their moment in the sun and so it is on The Fall Dance. Listen, if you will, to the wonderful interplay on ‘When The Sea’ and ‘Dream R’, the lusciousness of the title track “the Fall Dance’. There’s certainly some shades of the avant-garde here, a touch of Math-Rock fastidiousness, and the lyrical flow of the music carries you effortlessly down a winding river of sound and exploration.
Writing in her album notesArgirò picks up on the idea of music as a voyage into discovery and the imagination, she promises to take the listener on a journey to “…explore the visions of my night-times and the dream-like variations of my real life experiences…I truly believe that music is about allowing ourselves to be human, to be sincere with our emotions and to discover the freedom to express it”, indeed, the dream like quality of each of the tracks on The Fall Dance is otherworldly and, in it’s own way transportative, brimming with invention and originality. There is, as the composer promises, the compulsion to reach out and explore the form, and expand our experience as listeners. Basically, you have to open your mind, allow yourself to fall backwards and let this music catch you.
Anyway, for my money it’s a totally sublime experience and I really, really enjoyed each and every minute of it. Congratulazioni, Maria, musica fantastica!
01 – When the Sea
02 – Dream R Intro
03 – Dream R
04 – Every Now and Then
05 – Song for the Silver Family
06 – Freely
07 – Stanhope Gardens
08 – The Man who Sees the World
09 – The Fall Dance
10 – Zen Song