Savoldelli Casarano Bardoscia – The Great Jazz Gig In The Sky

There are bands who are in thrall to Pink Floyd to such an extent that they spend entire careers vainly trying to create “The Momentary Lapse of the Dark Side”, and of course there are enough Floyd tribute bands out there to form a small army. Not for this Italian trio the dreary formulaic copycat path, oh no. It is plain from this highly imaginative and daring album that Savoldelli Casarano Bardoscia obviously love the Floyd as much as any of the yawn inducing copyists, who wouldn’t have the cojones to take on covering one of the most iconic rock albums of all time in any event. If you’re going to do a cover of Dark Side Of The Moon, the only way to tackle it is by approaching it from a completely radical perspective, and The Great Jazz Gig In The Sky certainly ticks that box.

Turning Floyd’s massive album with its attendant baggage into a jazz space opera was a good move and you soon stop trying to associate the strange arrangements and instrumentation on display here with the original. Odd moments link to the original, such as the understated sample of Clare Torry’s scat singing on Great Gig In The Sky in the version on offer here which uses mournful saxophone and minimal groaning double bass to good effect driving the tune’s stately progress until the appearance of techno rhythms and Ms Torry’s sampled voice. The key here is not so much the notes played as the space between the notes. This tune is melded with Money where Boris Salvoldelli’s distinctive croaky growl, akin to a more melodic higher register Tom Waits, tells the familiar tale of enslavement to the $.

Album centrepiece Us And Them includes labelmate Dewa Budjana on emotive skysaw guitar, playing a long unfolding solo out of left field, and probably supplying the only true “rock” moment of the record, but the real instrumental star is Rafaelle Casarano whose range of saxophones and way with a box of electronic tricks make this a truly innovative outing. Ably backed by Marco Bardoscia whose double bass is for the most part the main rhythmic component, with singer Boris Salvoldelli’s distinctive voice being the icing on a thoroughly unusual cake. Both Marco and Boris also add more electronics, but none of it ever swamps the music.

Ultra-trad Floydheads will hate it, but anyone with open ears cannot fail to appreciate this rather fine album, if only for its sheer balls!

01. Speak To Me (1:15)
02. Breathe (7:35)
03. On The Run (1:15)
04. Time (4:13)
05. The great Gig In The Sky-Money (7:40)
06. Us And Them (14:24)
07. Any Colour You Like (2:17)
08. Brain Damage (7:45)
09. Eclipse (2:48)

Total time – 49:15

Boris Salvoldelli – Vocals, Vocal Noises, Electronics
Rafaelle Casarano – Saxophones, Electronics
Marco Bardoscia – Double Bass
~ With:
Dewa Budjana – Guitar (track 6)

Record Label: Moonjune Records
Catalogue#: MJR079
Year of Release: 2016

Savoldelli Casarano Bardoscia – Bandcamp