ENG DMG Newsletter, Bruce Lee Gallanter (may.2014)

Luz is an Italian quartet which features three members with whom I’ve never heard of plus the Chicago-based cellist Tomeka Reid who has worked with Nicole Mitchell, Anthony Braxton and a string trio with Mazz Swift and Silvia Bolognesi. All of the pieces on this disc were written by Mr. Ancillotto (their guitarist) and/or Mr. Legari (their bassist). The first piece, “Frate Mitra”, Ancillotto plays with that tremolo tone that Marc Ribot uses in Zorn projects like the Dreamers, giving the music a charming post-surf vibe. While the guitar repeats the theme over and over, Ms. Reid takes the first of numerous inspired solos, building to an intense conclusion while the band rock out with an equally powerful groove before calming back down to a somber final section. “Zdenek” is a tantalizing piece with a fast tempo rock section which keeps shifting tempo-wise through different parts plus a great guitar solo midway. Although Ms. Tomeka didn’t write any of these pieces, her cello playing is an important part of all of these songs as she plays tight lines with and around the guitar. I dig that this music is often stripped down yet consistently evokes a different vibe which is usually cinematic in nature. In some ways this band is similar in sound to the Dreamers so you dug them, you should give Luz a chance as well.