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THIRD REEL – MANY MORE DAYS / ECM 2431                                            player

Masson, Pianca and Maniscalco represent the next wave, one that references more contemporary sources as merely a starting point for something else entirely.

John Kelman – All About Jazz

The second ECM album from Swiss/Italian trio Third Reel takes its open-plan music to another level. Emanuele Maniscalco, Nicolas Masson and Roberto Pianca all bring music into Third Reel, and each of them has his own distinct compositional signature, but from the outset their pieces are “always conceived as material for multiple, unpredictable developments,” as Maniscalco says. Compositional guidelines are like gateways into fields to explore. Masson’s elegant clarinet and lean-toned tenor are emphasized on this recording, Maniscalco floats between drums and piano, quietly lyrical on both instruments, and Pianca is most often a kind of real-time orchestrator, subtly enfolding the interaction with swelling sustained chords, or underlining it with thick drones.

Most of the first half of the album features primarily Emanuele Maniscalco’s compositions, and a chamber music feel, aligning the group on this showing to the reflective tradition of Giuffre and Bley – perhaps most evident on “Afterwards”, where Maniscalco’s rubato piano is shadowed by Masson’s clarinet. The second half of the programme is comprised mostly of Nicolas Masson’s pieces, including “White”, dedicated to Masabumi Kikuchi, as well as the album’s title track, its melody unfolded by a serpentine tenor line gaining steadily in power. Of Roberto Pianca’s pieces, “Lara’s Song” is a pensive ballad and “Happy People” less jolly than its title might imply, with active broken-time drums flickering behind a stately theme. Unusually for a group that takes chances with its material, Third Reel keeps things concise, none of the 13 pieces in the programme passing the five-minute mark.

Emanuele Maniscalco, who currently splits his time between Copenhagen, Malmö and Brescia, is primarily self-taught as drummer and pianist, although he attended and drew inspiration from the monthly workshops of Stefano Battaglia in Siena between 2001 and 2008. As early influences on his compositional style he cites Carla Bley, Paul Motian and Charlie Haden. Maniscalco played with Enrico Rava for three years and has worked with many of the major players on the Italian scene. He is also a member of the Danish musicians collective ILK.

Saxophonist and clarinettist Nicolas Masson dived into improvised music at the deep end, at 20 encountering Cecil Taylor and J.R. Mitchell in New York and subsequently studying with Frank Lowe and Makanda Ken McIntyre. Meanwhile a leading figure on the Swiss new jazz scene, he has worked with a broad international cast of musicians including Ben Monder, Gerald Cleaver, Kenny Wheeler, Kris Davis, Eivind Opsvik, Russ Lossing, Tom Arthurs and many more. In addition to his work with Third Reel he leads the band Parallels with Colin Vallon, Patrice Moret and Lionel Friedli. Masson is also active as a photographer. The cover shot of Many More Days is one of his images.

Roberto Pianca studied music at the Amsterdam Conservatory He has played and worked with artists including Joey Baron, Savina Yannatou, Russ Lossing, John O’Gallagher, Mark Ferber, Johannes Weidenmüller, Rafael Schilt, Christoph Irniger, Stefano Senni, Ben Syversen, Flin Van Hemmen, Jake Saslow, Colin Stranahan, Greg Ruggiero, Sienna Dahlen, Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen, Dan Kinzelman and many others. Besides performing with Third Reel, he leads his own bands and also plays with Swiss/American pop/folk group Rocky Wood.

Many More Days was recorded at Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI, Lugano, in August 2014 with Manfred Eicher as producer. 

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