With Dali, drummer and composer Stefano Bagnoli presents his third tribute album together with his trio We Kids. The previous tribute albums were dedicated to Billy Strayhorn (2015), arranger and composer in Duke Ellington's orchestra, and to the poet Arthur Rimbaud (2017). Bagnoli, affectionately nicknamed Brushman by his friends for his special use of the jazz broom, is one of the best-known Italian jazz musicians. With a family background in jazz - uncle Carlo and father Luigi Bagnoli founded the Milan College Jazz Society in 1951 - he received early lessons on the drums. In 1978 he started his career as a professional drummer. As a member of numerous jazz groups, he earned a reputation in Italy as an exceptionally talented drummer. He can be heard on albums by Gianni Basso, Enrico Rava, Andrea Pozza, Bruno Di Filippi/Gianni Coscia, Furio Di Castri, Michael Rosen, Michela Lombardi/Renato Sellani, Fritz Hartschuh, Danilo Rea and Massimo Ranieri. In 2011 he founded his first "We Kids Trio", which since 2016 includes pianist Giuseppe Vitale and double bassist Stefano Zambon.
In the spirit of the surrealist painting represented by Salvatore Dali as front man, the We Kids Trio mixes traditional with electronic jazz and, in the spirit of surrealism conveying the dreamlike, the unconscious, the absurd and the fantastic, dreamlike sequences of sounds next to scurrile sound creations.
The album Dali contains jazz music, most of it divided into three suites. The four-movement Surrealism Suite introduces the world of sonic surrealism à la Stefano Bagnoli very cautiously in the first movement with mostly conventionally performed piano-dominated jazz, which takes on more shape in the electronically realized second movement, in which the piano is replaced by a keyboard. In the third movement, the double bass, framed by samples and electronics, introduces deeper surrealism, until finally the fusion-style fourth movement, which emphasizes the surreal more strongly, has the pianist replace his keyboard instrument with a Fender electric guitar.
An extremely short, surrealistically already quite detached "Dali vs. Disney", driven forward by the double bass and casually commented by the piano, is followed by the four-movement Subconscious Suite, the first movement of which initially gives priority to the drums before the piano interferes with an at first dreamy melody, which in the further course powerfully increases in conciseness and transience, to finally suddenly ebb away. The whole thing is reminiscent of one or another of Dali's paintings, in which scurrile elements grow in and out of the picture out of nowhere. Samples of the master's voice appear in the quietly flowing melody of the second movement. After a wildly mixed third movement of march and dance elements comes the final movement, which transcends the calm ductus of this ballad-like suite and lets us look deeper into the fantastic structure of the album Dali. The transition to the two-movement Depression Suite is provided by the hectic half-minute "Dali vs Bunuel." This suite initially proves to be an absurdly floating fusion event, which is followed by the second and final movement spiced with drama and supported by electronics. The Depression Suite is followed by the fantastically crafted and final wildly sprawling "Dali all eternità" and the electronic-charged "Dali vs Roach", which is in a sense less suitable for ultimate chilling, and on which one would prefer to restart the album to begin the truly whimsical journey once again, per Dali.
Indeed, with their special jazz mix on the album Dali, the We Kids Trio at least manages to come quite close to the goal of surrealism, to have new experiences and to gain new insights. For the listener, this journey into the surreal means a gain in jazz pleasure that is an interesting alternative to conventionally presented jazz.
We Kids Trio:
Giuseppe Vitale, piano, Fender Rhodes and keyboards
Stefano Zambon, double bass and electronics
Stefano Bagnoli, drums and electronics