ENG DMG Newsletter, Bruce Lee Gallanter (jun.2019)

Bari saxist & composer, Beppe Scardino, has appeared on a dozen discs the El Gallo Rojo and Auand labels over the last few years. Although all of the 10 players on this disc have somewhat familiar names, there is one who is on more than 20 discs that we know about: saxist, Piero Bittolo Bon, bandleader for Rollerball and other bands on Long Song.
Mr. Scardino wrote all but one of songs here, the one cover is Coltrane’s demanding work, “Giant Steps”. The BS10 are of course a tentet with his horns, 3 reeds & 3 brass, plus guitar, electric piano, double bass & drums. “Agosto 14” kicks things off with some dark, brooding electric piano, quiet fuzzed guitar and a chorus of churning horns. Guitarist Gabrio Baldacci is in fine form on this piece, his solo a scorcher in the Marc Ducret-like vein. The writing for the six horns is something else, tight, dark, stirring, layers with great solo popping up. Mr. Scardino’s bari solo on “One for KD” is just incredible. Although this disc was recorded live in Teatro Sant’Andrea in Pisa, Italy, the sound is superb. Warm yet bright and not brittle like most digital recordings. Mr. Baldacci takes a completely sick guitar solo on “1001”. There is a long section on “Tre” which consists of layers of subdued, ghost-like muted horns (backwards?), which recalls Nucleus or Soft Machine from some 50 years ago (1970). The electric piano or synth and at times laid-back electric guitar, give this disc an older, classic quality from the early days of jazz/rock. Here’s something interesting, I just reviewed a couple of fabulous discs from Manfred Mann Chapter Three from 1969 & 1970, both are great and sound much like some of the music found on this disc which was released in 2018. Strange scenes in the Italian goldmine!?!