Paolo Botti Quintet

Moto Contrario

Caligola Records, 2040-2

Paolo Botti, viola; Alessandro Bosetti, soprano saxophone; Marina Ciccarelli, trombone; Tito Mangialajo Ranzter, double bass; Filippo Monico, drums.

Moto Contrario is a landmark recording in creative music, marking a return to pan-tonality, interval sequences, and other non-obvious harmonic resources pioneered by such innovators as George Russell, Eric Dolphy, and others.

This consistently challenging musical approach--"a music against", in the leader's own words--is rarely heard in the United States today, owing to the fact that show tunes and standard song forms based on diatonic schemes are the prevailing musical taste. Thankfully, Botti reminds us that innovation is a cornerstone of this music; his multiple, freshly composed lines consistently yield new corridors for exploration.

The session is replete with outstanding, memorable themes. "Freelippo", "Accordi in Prestito", "News from Anatolia" remind us that an increased harmonic spectrum does not mean compromise in terms of structure; on the latter piece alone, the counterpoint shared by Bosetti and Ciccarelli are the work of a master orchestrator.

We wish Mr. Botti and his ensemble the very best for the future.

by James D. Armstrong, Jr.

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