(New Album Review) Lorenzo Masotto- Seta

If you are in search of neoclassical that manages to be as lively as it is steeped in a very modern sense of ambience and ellipsis, Italian composer and virtuoso pianist Lorenzo Masotto is surely going to be your go-to guy. On Masotto’s debut solo recording Seta (Silk), published by Rome’s Alfa Music in February, the already highly accomplished graduate of both the Conservatorio Di Musica F. E. Dall’Abaco Verona and the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar has shot for an engaging and eclectic take on modern art music which incorporates electronic textures in addition to accompaniment by Fabrizio Bosso on trumpet, Mauro Ottolini on trombone, Laura Masotto, Eleuteria Arena, and Marco Mazzi on strings; Stefania Avolio as second pianist, and Bruce Turri on drums. Seta is humble and dignified, and subsequently exactly the kind of thing one looks for with fusion-type works in this vein!

The sensibility here is bustling with activity and dynamic, yet also very sensitive and textural. Masotto’s languid, floating melodies have an impressionistic affect to them, but then, there is also something here almost akin to George Gershwin in wryly nostalgic reveries like “Improvviso” and “Olio su tela”. The lush, melodic, vaguely cinematic, yet never too sentimental or digressive, textures of these pieces often remind me of Ryuichi Sakamoto, a favorite of mine, and his idiosynchratic kind of emotive impressionism, and like Sakamoto, Masotto is open to finding a place for electronics in his pieces. On that note, I was particularly drawn into the tense, lovely “Gea” for the sidereal pulse undercutting Masotto’s hurried piano melody– well-constructed stuff.  Totally criminally underrated…I hope to hear more great things from Lorenzo in years to come.

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