ENG musicforwatermelons.com, Marcello Nardi (aug.2020)

Listeners who crave for the self-indulgent and lavish orchestrations of progressive rock should not be intimidated to admit appreciation for the snobbery side of the jazz improvisations and the other way around. Italian guitarist Frank Martino, under the shield of a threatening 8-stringed metal axe, doesn’t really care to play on the razor’s edge and melts his Ego Boost in a musical pot that contains contemporary jazz leanings, prog influenced intricated phrasing, tinged with the right amount of electronica and indie rock.
Frank Martino‘s Disorgan is now reaching the mark of the third release for Italian jazz label Auand, since the band started in 2015. The trio now upgrades to a quartet with addition of sax player Massimiliano Milesi, completing the lineup made by Claudio Vignali at keys and Niccolò Romanin at drums and, of course, Martino himself. Taking a bold direction towards a contemporary jazz open to the electronic influences and yet not surrendering to the rendition of jazzy pop hooks, mixing the indie rock and metal with jazz, yet with no indulgent mimicry, Disorgan has garnered a cold, experimental-oriented aesthetic of its own.
The fierce counterpoint made of Martino‘s descending unorthodox riff, contrasting with up and down scales by Milesi and scattering rhythms by Vignali give a thrilling opening to the odd metered 5443. There’s more of Dream Theater than any contemporary jazz musician could ever admit. The leader seldom takes the stage, usually enjoying the bumping and scrappy bass lines or the reverberated clean guitar accompaniement, that owe so much to the indie. Maybe an exception could be the bumping Raving with the Cats, a fast tempo that alternates bars in 7, when the guitarist elicits a clever, bouncing solo that links together jazz phrasing with the right, delicious amount of guitar-shred show off.
Martino, who is also an electronic music producer, loves often to build intricate themes -take the main theme in the fast rock Fring- as well as peaceful ambientscapes. The addition of the earthly and heartfelt playing by Milesi perfectly counterbalances what the guitarist and Vignali at Fender Rhodes create in the most pensive sections, smoothing the edge of the previous albums. Ego Boost is somber and stark at the same time, joyous and intellectual, indicating an interesting direction from musicians who don’t get intimidated by boldly mixing genres.