Release Year: 2014
Label: Caligola Records
- Il Barone (Short Suite In 5 Movements) a) He’s Funny b) Hard Times c)Love & Friendship d) Crazy Dude! e) Women
- Sylvan Song
- From East To West
- Garden Wall
- Marcello Benetti – Drums
- Rex Gregory – Clarinet and Flute
- Jeff Albert – Trombone
- Helen Gillet – Cello
Reviewed In OffBeat
David Kunian (November 2014 Issue)
Drummer Marcello Benetti Shuffled’s new record From East To West builds on this quartet’s debut. It shares the sense of whimsy and fun, but here the music also has a degree of formality at certain points. It starts with a short five-part suite “Il Barone.”
The first movement “He’s Funny” reflects the title with its circus-like themes and traditional jazz leanings.
The suite continues for 10 more minutes with seamless transitions and melodies that are played and returned to.
There is a great moment with cellist Helen Gillet mixing modern loops with classical technique into places where listeners forget how the music is being made and just enjoy it for what it was.
This transitions into a lovely, Latin exchange between Rex Gregory’s flute and Jeff Albert’s trombone before Gillet’s repeated cello lines get back to a mysterious groove.
Here and throughout the rest of the record, Bennetti’s drum work is varied between keeping the rhythm moving and adding color and accents to the tunes, whether it’s the pretty waltz of “Sylan Song” or the baroque counterpoint and Sun Ra-like exotic interplay of Gillet and the front line in “Garden Wall.”
The unusual lineup of instruments keeps the songs modern, surprising and interesting on both slightly out passages and the frenzied group playing on “Circles.”
It’s rare in this current period of jazz to have a record that is accessible enough in sound and melody for casual listeners and yet complex enough to warrant multiple listenings. Marcello Benetti’s Shuffled has made such a record, and made it well.