June 14, 2024

Rosario GiulianiLuggage
Rosario Giuliani
(Dreyfus – 2001)
by Dick Bogle

The reputation of Italian saxophonist Rosario Giuliani is growing in Europe, and this, his fifth Dreyfus release, should propel that recognition to even greater heights. He pretty much stays in attack mode, cutting loose with long flurries of notes at a rapid pace. His tone, while reminiscent of altoist Jackie McLean, is not as sharp — as opposed to flat — as McLean’s.

But, McLean’s penchant for delivering a strident attack is present even on ballads like “Love For My Mother” and his own composition, “Thinking of You.” One of the highlights is “The Awakening of the Creature,” a modal swinger that works in part because of pianist Pietro Lussu, bassist Pietro Ciancaglini and drummer Lorenzo Tucci.

If I ever again go to Italy, hearing Giuliani would top the list of things to do, see and hear. But at the same time, one could wish he would learn to caress a ballad rather smother them with fierce execution.

Reprinted with kind permission of The Skanner.

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