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Alberto Pinton, Clear Now (Moserobie)
Unheralded but absolutely riveting session of free-form, improvisatory jazz made by a name new to me. I have little time for the freer end of jazz these days, but this is magnificent -- daring, fresh and highly engaging. Pinton plays baritone sax, clarinets, and flute, and the other main soloist is trumpeter Kyle Gregory. Both put many better known performers to shame. The music is intricate and demanding but never just "difficult". Even the more atonal efforts like "Marching Man" have an elegance and wit to them. Slow numbers such as "Canzone Per Max" are delicate and atmospheric, and there is a loose but logical flow to all the pieces. Baritone and trumpet work well together and produce some delightful textures, while the trumpet solos in particular are incisive and cleverly thought out. Everything feels right, as if this is a genuine labour of love rather than simply some cerebral exercise. Try "Paint by Heart" or "Variation on a Ballad Theme" and then tell me free jazz is just chaos and noise. Sublime stuff.