|Another great disc from this Italian jazz diva!
This is what you get when a vocalist is allowed to lead a quintet full of Italy's brightest young jazz Turks: tremendous beauty and vision. With Ottaviano's soprano sax and Battaglia's piano keeping her company on the front line, Tiziana Ghiglioni can't help but shine on this stellar material, two tunes for which she wrote the lyrics — in English no less. Far from being entirely ballads, the set is pretty much in medium tempo, very dreamy, and full of elegant pianism from Battaglia and the most lyrically challenging solos Ottaviano has ever played. The instrumentalists walk a fine line here between Ghiglioni's clear, ringing voice and the desire to play out the fantasies inspired by her voice, without overpowering it. The tension all comes to a head near the end of the album, on Ornette Coleman's glorious "Round Trip," Kurt Weill "September Song," and the Milton Nascimento number "Empty Faces." In each of these, the band sets out a strident harmonic map for Ghiglioni to follow and she pushes her voice acrobatically to comply. The tunes work, but they don't feel as effortless as the organic matter, such as "...And Yet Not You Alone," at the beginning of the record, composed by Battaglia specifically for Ghiglioni. But it's a tiny complaint; she proves herself every bit the instrumentalist her more celebrated colleagues are and, by the end of the disc, her name and voice will be etched into your memory in perpetuity.