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Giancarlo Mazz¨ - Luciano Troja: Seven Tales about Standards

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Giancarlo Mazz¨ - Luciano Troja:
Seven Tales about Standards
(Luciano Troja Website)
2005 Splasc(H) Records

Luciano Troja on Piano
Giancarlo Mazz¨ on Nylon String Guitar

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 12, 2009

This CD is a duo recording from Italy, created by Luciano Troja, on piano, and Giancarlo Mazz¨, on nylon string guitar. Troja and Mazz¨ draw on the essence of each standard and extend phrases, change key, mix the tempos, and add other unique ornamentations that allow the listener to experience the standard in serendipitous configurations. The duo improvises guitar-piano conversations that showcase and overlap musical impressions.

Notable tracks:

#2 ľ Mack the Knife ľ Composed by Kurt Weill. Mazz¨ opens this standard with solo off-key guitar, in a soft, distant motif. Soon rambunctious guitar chords pick up the tempo, before Trojaĺs piano rolls in carrying the lead. Mazz¨ creates an ethereal finale.

#3 ľ My Funny Valentine ľ Composed by Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart. This is a mesmerizing version of a favorite standard, with Troja mixing styles from melodic and melancholy to atonal and turbulent. Mazz¨ opens the track and then switches to quasi-Spanish guitar, with exotic flourishes and vibrant accompaniment.

#6 ľ When I Fall In Love ľ Composed by Edward Heyman-Victor Young. Troja leads this standard, in extra-slow, meandering melancholia. Mazz¨ juxtaposes an off-key guitar backdrop that lends an introspective quality to the listening. The ultimate effect is quite tranquil and engaging.

#7 ľ Take the ôAö Train ľ Composed by Billy Strayhorn. In a very bluesy style, Troja and Mazz¨ twist this standard into new musical imagery and produce a fascinating take on a renowned jazzy theme. There are bits of honky-tonk, New Orleans style, and there are bits of swing, New York style. Troja and Mazz¨ have masterfully designed one-of-a-kind interpretations of popular standards.

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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at