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Fabrizio Mocata Trio – Puccini Moods

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Fabrizio Mocata is a pianist and a composer based in Italy, he recently performed in Canada at the Brampton Jazz & Blues Festival. I was able to hear him in performance as he led a trio through some of his original compositions including selections from his 2010 release Puccini Moods.

Giacomo Puccini is considered by many to be one of the best composers of Italian opera, with well known compositions that include Madame Butterfly, Tosca and Nessun Dorma. On Puccini Moods Mocata and the trio interpret Puccini’s compositions and create new compositions based on Puccini’s classics. The blending of classical and jazz in Mocata’s hands is seamless. The feeling of joy, the passion for the music and the vibrant mood come through loud and clear. This is a wonderful recording, well produced by Mocata and the bassist Gianmarco Scaglia.

Puccini Moods is a swinging affair care of drummer Ettore Fioravanti who pushes the rhythm throughout. “Coro a bocca chiusa” is a song that opens moderato, the piano laying down a glorious melodic introduction. The temple builds from the moderate opening to a highly dynamic swinging tune with twists and turns enhancing the mood and elevating the senses.

The song that features guest guitarist Raimondo Meli Lupe, “Butterfly Milonga” is a slow, dark and somber paced marching tango. The guitar of Lupe weaves in and out with single note harmonics and electronically enhanced chords. Mocata plays a clavialla on this song and has it sounding similar to a chromatic harmonica or a small accordion, hence the tango flavour. The album sings with harmony and melody, many of the songs would fit perfectly with a vocalist in accompaniment. The piano style of Mocata is as a singer, with glissade, sustain and vibrato resonating with strength and purity. The tonal colour a sweeping majesty as in the Mocata original “Volo” with its upbeat and vibrant feeling of joy and youthful vitality.

The album closes with original compositions “Venti perdenti” by Mocata and “Shadow” by Scaglia. The former a moderate paced bop tune that swings with rhythm and allows the trio full range of emotion as they wind out with musical dexterity. The later opens with a bass line to set the stage for a glowing performance by the trio.

Puccini Moods is a wonderful project that features European jazz performed at a high level. The European element so heavily influenced by classical music is utilized in a refreshingly original manner, taking the enchanting Puccini melodies and allowing them to swing with abandon. Puccini Moods sings with delightful jazz sensibilities and I look forward to hearing more from the Fabrizio Mocata Trio.

Tracks: Quando Me N’vo, Coro A Bocca Chiusa, Butterfly Milonga, Nessun Intro, Nessun Dorma, Scuoti Quella Fronda, Volo, Bass solo, Ballad for Scotty, Venti Perdenti, Shadow.

Personnel: Fabrizio Mocata (piano), Gianmarco Scaglia (acoustic bass), Ettore Fioravanti (drums), Raimondo Meli Lupe (guitar on track 3).

Fabrizio Mocata – Official Website: www.fabriziomocata.com

Label: MM Records

Release date: 2010

Reviewed by: Paul J. Youngman

An independent journalist, based in Toronto, Canada. A professional musician and a fan of music, dance and the arts. I have written short stories, lyrics, poetry and reviews. I have been published in numerous online webzines. I’ve taught drumming and played in bands; I have felt the passion to create. I enjoy expressing that passion, the artistic experience, in words, reporting on the shows and musical experiences that I have witnessed.

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