In the course of the more than one hundred years of history of jazz, the most diverse styles have been formed and developed. Revolutionary and evolutionary styles are in balance. The acceptance of the two styles by the audience depends on how provocative they are, in other words, how catchy the respective style is or how painful it is felt. The first variant of acceptance allows the audience to enjoy in a relaxed manner, while the second variant requires the audience to intellectually engage with the music, to learn to understand it, which can be quite exhausting, since it does not always lead to the enjoyment of what is offered. Incontre, the album Incontre by bassist, composer and producer Massimo Biolcati, which was now released ten years after a successful solo debut album solo Persona, is one of the first variants associated with immediate enjoyment. Besides Massimo Biolcati on double bass, Dayna Stephens, tenor and baritone saxophone, Sam Yahel, piano and Hammond B-3 organ, and Jongkuk Kim on drums, all masters of their craft, can be heard on Incontre.
Of the titles on Incontre, about half are written by Biolcati, while the rest are based on compositions by Mingus, Monk, and Dave Holland. Massimo Biolcati's opening title "Hello, I Lied" is based on a bass line that he had already performed in the past, and which he has often performed with the pianist and drummer on Incontre. This title can be understood as a fun home game for the quartet and Massimo Biolcati comments on it as follows: “it was born from a bass line I wrote a couple of years ago. It has a deceiving rhythm (a sort of lie), and having played it on various occasions with both J.K. and Sam; I knew they would have fun with it and explore its possibilities.” Monk wrote "Boo Boo's Birthday" for Art Blakey. Typically, Monk distinguishes this title by imaginative rhythmic twists, which are relished by the saxophonist. Massimo Biolcati presents a slow variation of the Charlie Chaplin song "Smile". Here the Hammond organ in combination with the soprano saxophone provides an immensely colorful accompaniment.
The pop song "Everybody Wants to Rule The World" from Tears for Fears is rhythmically ingeniously alienated and instrumentally tailored to the duo of saxophone and piano. A real fun maker. This also applies to the Mingus title "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love" in an arrangement in which the sound of the Hammond organ merges comfortably with that of the baritone saxophone. "How Never" proves to be a virtuoso vehicle for the double bass player and Biolcati's "Fellini" takes the listener into romantic realms, which the Italian filmmaker has conjured up on the screen in his works of the fifties and sixties in an incomparable way. "Birthday Song" and "Almost" are two other contributions by Biolcati on Incontre, in which the perfect interaction of the quartet's musicians can be admired.
It was worth waiting for the extremely well-done album Incontre. May the next album by and with Massimo Biolcati not be another ten years away.
Massimo Biolcati, double bass
Dayna Stephens, tenor, soprano and baritone saxophone
Sam Yahel, piano, organ
Jongkuk Kim, drums