June 25, 2024


Website about Jazz and Blues

CD review: Claudio Angeleri – Blues Is More 2019: Video, CD cover

This record is the result of a recent compositional research that has also developed in the concert activity of the quintet.

This is a rereading of the ideas of the Swiss composer and theorist, American naturalist, Ernst Levy in the field of musical theory and negative or “absolute” harmony. Levy provided a new interpretation of our tonal system from Zarlino to the present, arranging some theoretical misunderstandings left unresolved in five centuries of music. Levy’s is a “reform” from the inside that reaches, and exceeds, the boundaries of the tonality following the structure of the physical sound – the natural harmonics – and of the inner sound – the lower harmonics. This is not a theoretical exercise but a creative challenge to which many musicians of the recent past have dedicated themselves to jazz. Levy’s theories, developed in the 1940s, have only recently spread thanks to the interest and research of Steve Coleman and the M-Base movement, Herbie Hancock and Jacob Collier.

«The idea of ​​\ u200b \ u200bthe disc is to introduce some” absolute “formulas in the compositional palette starting first of the classical forms of jazz, like the blues of” Blues is More “and the rhythm changes of” Absolutely “», stresses Angeleri. “The” suggestions “then give the inspiration to the musicians to develop their ideas by sharing them in the group. In Blues is More, for example, the first solo is a collective of wind instruments that takes us back to the colors of the first jazz recalled by the “second line” of the rhythm section while the piano improvisation is largely melodically conducted with polar ideas. In Absolutely, however, the harmonies of the bridge are treated in the same way. The absolute harmony is applied to the circular progressions of Seascape that tend not to resolve due to the mirror solutions of the chords, an even more evident effect in the improvised introduction of the battery with the interventions of Voicings keyboards. Paths explores different polymetric, melodic and harmonic weaves: one of the themes suddenly becomes almost Cuban, due to the superimposition of a bass tumbao to the syncopated melodic line. Easy is instead based on melodic “cantability” on a twenty-beat ballad shape, “he continues. “The three non-original compositions included in the disc represent finally some authoritative examples of experimentation of absolute harmony although, in fact, it had not yet been declined and diffused according to Levy’s ideas. The pieces are by Ellington, Monk and Powell, three brilliant composers who, although with different characteristics and qualities, have developed not only the tonality but have made an innovative contribution to the music of the twentieth century under different melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and sonorous aspects. Ellington is a descriptive composer, a painter of sounds. His A new world a comin, presented here in one of my arrangements for piano solo, in his thematic alternation he paints a true sonorous fresco, brushed now at the major hour with the minor with a ruthlessness. The same freedom we find in Monk and Powell: Monk’s Dream and Dance of the Infidels are an example. Monk “invented”, according to Gillespie, the minor chord with the sixth on the bass, a cornerstone of Levy’s absolute theory, “continues the pianist. “It’s actually one of the many bebop tricks widely used by Gillespie, Parker and Powell, further demonstrating the depth of jazz research. It should be noted that the vocal improvisation by Paola Milzani in Monk’s dream reproduces in part the “historical” solo of the organist Larry Young of 1966. The disc ends with a last original composition: Dixie. It is a piano ragtime to remember the wonderful continuity of jazz».


  1. Voicings
  2. Seascape
  3. Blues Is More
  4. Paths
  5. Absolutely
  6. Easy
  7. Dance of the Infidels
  8. A New World a Comin
  9. Monk’s Dream
  10. Dixie


Claudio Angeleri – piano, keyboards
Gabriele Comeglio – alto, soprano saxes
Andrea Andreoli – trombone
Marco Esposito – el. bass
Luca Bongiovanni – drums, percussion
Paola Milzani – vocals (9)
Giulio Visibelli – flute (4)

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