"We know Belgian-based pianist Giovanni Di Domenico from his album with Tetterapadequ, and his recent collaboration with Alexandra Grimal, Seminare Vento. On this album, he is joined by John Ruocco on clarinet, Ananta Roosend on violin, Anja Naucler on cello, Claus Kaarsgaard on bass.
The music is slow, intimate, precise, and quite expressive. The album starts with solo piano, an eery melody, with sparse notes of the right hand repeating a bluesy phrase. Yet it starts for real with the second piece, with the strings offering a harmonic backdrop for lyrical free soloing by Ruocco. MM is possibly one of the strongest compositions, because of the stark contrast between the almost single chord hammering of the piano against the slow intense theme played by the strings, that start going their own way as a result of the piano going berserk, yet when the strings find back the theme, the piano is subdued, and tamed into sparse intimate notes.
Some pieces are short, and create a world in less than a minute, such as Hombre, others are quite expansive, like the long Brainbow, on which Kaarsgaard gets a three minute bass intro, full of restraint and wonderful pace-setting, before Di Domenico adds his minimalist piano touches to deepen the created atmosphere.
Di Domenico brings a total concept, with ambition and the result is excellent. Influences can be easily found in jazz as in African or Middle-Eastern music as in classical music, often combined, yet all very subtle and very much in its own stylistic universe of intimacy and closeness. And to their credit, the band does not shy away from some jokes or playful antagonism, as on Sirr. Jazz with strings is often overly sentimental or arrogant kitsch, yet this album develops its own kind of creative vision on the possibilities of the string ensemble in jazz. Recommended!" - The Free Jazz Blog