Two of Negroni's Trio are father and son: pianist Jose Negroni and son Nomar on drums, teamed up with Josh Allen, bassist. On the Way is instrumental jazz of an unidentifiably hybrid nature but also extremely nuanced, as Jose's pianistics are unorthodox and compelling. A disciple of Latin jazz great Papo Lucca, it's hardly surprising then, when I tell you that I'm speaking to a Chick Corea level of writing and playing here, the kind of talent and clever compositonalism that catches the ear and never lets go, listeners always hungry for the next set of unexpected lines. And I can't help but detect some Hermeto Pascoal as well, 'cause that cat's always on the edge of things.
The choice of Ed Calle on sit-in saxes was drop-dead perfect, as his blazing lines in Matices amply demonstrate. Frankly, Calle should be drafted as the fourth member of the ensemble because his work illuminates Negroni's keyboards all the more, forcing another dimension in the man's profile. Negroni mostly lets him have his head, and that's fine, but a more intensive partnership would result in some mind-blowing tracks, interplay kind of like the old and much missed Jarrett / Redman collaborations, perhaps even more obtuse because that's Negroni's nature. Nomar follows behind them first with his rhythm section duties and then within a highly articulated percussive side conversation, Blue Forest giving him a baseline to assert his presence, something he has no problem at all with.
Seriously, Jose Negroni is a different kind of piano player who thinks in non-ordinary consciousness, and that alone should draw aficionados from near and far, yet the context he works in is rhythmically quite comfortable. It's what he does with the various tempi and bending everything to his idiomatic wont that's remarkable and not often heard any more. You'll come away from this thinking "I know what I heard, I just didn't know anyone could think that way!", which of course means you were in the presence of great art. And with that, what the heck else can one say?
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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