I’ve been captivated by an album released from Italian trumpet player Fabrizio Bosso (accompanied by accordionist/pianist/percussionist Antonello Salis) entitled Stunt. I saw them perform a couple of years ago at the Paris Jazz Festival, and they form a truly unique duo. They utilize a wide spectrum of instrumentation for just two musicians, and teeter between standards and new pieces, solo features and a playful intermingling of lines. Each is a virtuoso on his instrument – particularly Bosso, who has the technical prowess, range, and expression any jazz listener would desire from a horn player.
Until now, I hadn’t exactly pinpointed the source of my fascination with their work (with the obvious exception of my personal connection of having experienced it first-hand on a beautifully drizzly summer afternoon in Parc Floral). The truth is, Stunt is, at times, absolute chaos. Even the weaving of well-known shouts from classics (Body and Soul, Mack the Knife, and Caravan) tiptoes around those lines all jazz listeners know. And therein lies the genius. When, out of the chaos, arises something recognizable in my core, I feel satisfied and excited, comforted and energized – and I realize that it is ok to explore the creases, the nuances, the openness of jazz. Those familiar lines cease to be constraining, and instead becoming vehicles for traversing a skyful of sound. I feel my ears growing with each listen, more and more welcoming to the distant sounds which come forth from the universe.
We should always be willing to venture out into the unknown, into the chaos, even for just a few moments. It is never as far away from what we know as it seems. And it can help us to grow in ways we never imagined.