As with many all-improvised sessions, this project between U.S. drummmer Bobby Previte, Italian trombonist Gianluca Petrella and Italian keyboardist Antonello Salis is a mixed bag. The program is nicely varied from track to track. But Salis, who alternates between piano, Hammond and Fender Rhodes, is the only one who sounds at ease, finding fresh and provocative gambits on every piece. Previte comes off as the least inspired participant. He plays with loads of power and sometimes drives the music from the pocket (as on “Blues For Gio”), but much of the time he sounds like he’s firing off a row of cannons.
Petrella is a monster on his instrument, and previous work has revealed his sharp grasp of electronic enhancements, but he overdoes it a little here. Reverby effects pedals sometimes reduce his razor-sharp phrasing and full-bodied tone into an oil slick of dubby low-end. When he plays clean lines, he and Salis usually lock into some gripping interactions, from slinking, guttural growls against the splattery piano figures on the title track or fat post-bop riffing againstgreasy and spooky Hammond trills on “The Battle Of Zama”. Some actual tunes would have helped.