Ubuntu: UBU0128

Enzo Zirilli: drums, percussion, background vocal; Rob Luft: guitar, background vocal; Alessandro Chiappetta: guitar; Misha Mollov Abbado: bass

Recorded 9th April by Carlo Miori at Only Music Studio

Originals from band members sit comfortably alongside tunes from Steve Swallow, Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus. This should give some idea of the musical style (if the band’s name is not clear enough).

Zirilli is keen to point out that the band ‘get deep inside all the jazz languages, from the very early days through the modal and post avant-garde mood, mixed with influences from Indian, South American and eastern world music.’ Having said that, the abiding sense of the music here is that superbly played tunes mainly in the bop idiom.

Over the course of 13 tracks, the band swing with panache and verve, with Zirilli’s magnetic drumming keeping the musicians in orbit around him. Their depth of understanding reflects a decade of playing as a quartet. The quartet began when Luft and Mollov Abbado were teenagers, and it would be churlish to point out the stella developments of their careers – and far more pertinent to note that they continue to be key parts of the group.

Fitting this recording in with the demands on the musicians, and Zirilli’s recent appointment as Chair of Jazz Drums and Percussion at the Conservatory G. Verdi in his native Turin, must have been a challenge. But the music feels so natural that each musician seems to have come home in their own way.

This is especially true of the way in which the twin guitars wrap around each other and create languid lines of melody and counterpoint. If you’ve not been fortunate enough to catch the two previous releases by ZiroBop, you’d do yourself a favour by listening to this (and then going back to their first two records) – I guarantee you’ll have a whale of a time.

Reviewed by Chris Baber