Laboratorio Della Quercia (2LP)
Label: Alternative Fox
In the summer of 1978, an ambitious twelve-day experimental jazz project was undertaken at the ancient amphitheatre, Tasso della Quercia, on the slopes of Rome’s Gianicolo hill. The idea was to assemble the leading players from Italy’s avante-garde jazz scene, revolving around members of Grande Elenco Musicisti (or GEM), such as saxophonists Tommaso Vittorini, Eugenio Colombo and Maurizio Giammarco, trumpeter Alberto Corvini and trombonist/composer Danilo Terenzi, together with visiting American players such as saxophonists Steve Lacy, Steve Potts and Evan Parker, trombonist Roswell Rudd, pianist Frederick Rzewski and drummer Noel McGhee, among others. Different group configurations were enacted each day and the final gala concert formed the basis of this super rare and highly playful double album, which captures the delightfully messy proceedings. In keeping with the openness of the Roman jazz scene of the day, the project sought to push the boundaries, aiming to break big-band traditions whilst still emphasizing the collective nature of the experience. Enrico Rava’s opening “Tromblues” emphasizes the disparate approaches of these trans-Atlantic teams and Terenzi’s “Dialogando” uses dual trombones to heighten musical discord; in mutated big-band mode, Giammarco’s thrillingly complex “Vortex Waltz” and Vittorini’s “La Legge E Uguale Per Tutti” both speak to the limitless potential that the project was aiming for.
Cat. number: FOX 023 LP