Vezzoso / Collina / Marchesini

Italian Spirit In Japan
(ITI)

Trumpeter Marco Vezzoso and pianist Alessandro Collina began their collaboration in 2014, and have released several albums together since. Their first under the name Italian Spirit, on which they interpret well-known Italian songs in duo, was released in 2020; this album documents live performances in support of that record, with the addition of percussionist Andrea Marchesini. These pieces, whatever form they may have taken originally, are interpreted here in a manner that blends jazz with the romanticism of a movie score, using only three instruments.

Vezzoso’s voice on the horn is sweet and rich, like caramel, but when he puts the mute in, on “Sally,” his melodic phrases gain an unexpected pungency and sharpness, particularly when backed solely by Marchesini’s hand percussion. It takes a minute or so for Collina to come in on piano, and when he does, things move into cinematic territory. More uptempo pieces allow the trio to come together even more strongly; on “Dance Dance Dancer,” piano and percussion create a powerful, loping groove, over which Vezzoso’s trumpet soars, long high notes giving the melody a contrasting, mournful quality.