ENG All About Jazz USA, Jakob Baekgaard (apr.2009)

While Cuong Vu is almost romantic in the dramatic conception of his music, the compositions of guitarist Roberto Cecchetto are more joyful in their post-modern sophisticated eclecticism. Downtown is an album that brings together a myriad of influences from jazz guitar tradition. The album starts with the effortless swinging “Where Are You,” recalling Tal Farlow but soon changes on a plate with the brief abstract impressionism of “Uptown” that showcases the immense talent of drummer Michele Rabbia, who is master in creating moods with the fewest means possible. Taking another u-turn is the acoustic funk of “Do It” and “Oslo Hotel” is an epic achievement with modulated sounds and bassist Giovanni Maier spinning a soulful pattern on the bass. The shadow of Derek Bailey looms large over “Downtown” with the players shunning a traditional conception of melody and rhythm in favor of the pure sound of their instruments. Perhaps, the most impressive thing about Cecchetto isn’t his encyclopaedic knowledge of his instrument, but rather the way he succeeds, in spite of all the diversity, to bring a feeling of unity to his work. Downtown isn’t just the rehash of yesterday’s and today’s music but rather a personal expression of the sounds of tomorrow. The album is like a living city speaking with different voices but in the same language, adding new words to the musical vocabulary of jazz.