Drummer Carlo Costa’s Saturnismo (BTLCHR 71227) is a set of introverted and intriguing free improvisations with an inventive trio.
This is a consistently intriguing set of free jazz. While Cecil Taylor by the early 1960s had set the standard for high energy free improvisations, his fellow pianist Paul Bley came up with an alternative method around the same time. Bley was not shy to improvise around melodies, use space, and alternate sound with silence while often being as free as Taylor. His quieter approach became almost as influential as Taylor’s, particularly on the Art Ensemble of Chicago and many European improvisers.
The Minerva Trio featured on Saturnismo is comprised of drummer Carlo Costa, pianist JP Schlegelmilch and bassist Pascal Niggenkemper. They perform ten selections, six of which were composed by one of the players while the other four are group collaborations. But no matter what the source is, each of the musicians plays a major part in the final result. The themes are just sparse sketches that are used to set moods and as occasional frames of reference.
Most of the music was created on the spot as the musicians listen closely to each other and immediately react. There is a lot of space in these performances and, despite the brevity of many of the selections, the music develops slowly, methodically and emotionally.
This introverted set of free jazz deserves several close listens.