LABEL: AUAND, Italy
FORMAT: CD / AU9056
ARTIST: Francesco Diodati Yellow Squeeds
TITLE: Flow, Home.
Francesco Diodati (guitars)
Francesco Lento (trumpet, fluegelhorn)
Enrico Zanisi (piano, Fender Rhodes)
Glauco Benedetti (sousaphone, euphonium)
Enrico Morello (drums)
Produced by Francesco Diodati
Executive Producer: Marco Valente
Recording: Entropya Studio, Perugia – Italy
Engineer: Gabriele Ballabio
Cover Photo: Francesco Diodati
The research of an emotional focal point is the idea behind “Flow, Home”, Italian guitar player Francesco Diodati’s third album as a leader, released under Auand Records. It’s also a debut for his new Yellow Sqeeds quintet, featuring Enrico Zanisi on piano, Enrico Morello on drums, Glauco Benedetti on tuba and Francesco Lento on trumpet. Diodati is also a member of Enrico Rava’s New Quartet and has an ongoing duo project with the Italian trumpet player.
The band results from the of many approaches and styles, thus enriching Diodati’s originals with a timbric range and countless expressive possibilities. The 9 tracks of Flow, Home describe an ongoing human path which is undefined, yet not inconclusive, with its natural stop-and-goes. A need for stability and, at the same time, the wish to be back to an imaginary buen retiro, more of an inside place than a real one.
All this is easily reflected into Diodati’s choices as a composer who can create airy, distinguished sonic architectures. And the decision to replace the usual double bass with a tuba perfectly matches the depth of these tunes.
The opening track, Split, is all about the moment you feel split in two. A division here translated in music through both Lento’s anxious trumpet and Benedetti’s nervous tuba. The long ostinato in the ballad Ale holds the immanence of a feeling that mixes up strength and tenderness. And then Lost comes, and Diodati’s subtle guitar swarms express a sense of confusion and loss, sealed by an intensely acoustic final moment.
Believe is a teeter-totter of moods. It starts as a game, the piano being playfully disturbed by Burmese gongs and ping-pong balls, helped by Morello’s clean drumming, and then it opens up to fascinating harmonic choices and a sudden elegance.
Folk Song, Flow and Home are three compositions Diodati arguably wants to impress a stream of consciousness to. The first one is the ideal introduction, a minimal melody focused on an easy guitar line, strengthened by a no-frills approach. In Flow this turmoil founds its final shape, turning into an imaginary dialogue between trumpet and tuba, underlined by Morello’s nervous drumming. Home is the perfect of lyricism and technique, highlighting Diodati’s inner melodic taste and, at the same time, the intention of defying the 6-string boundaries.
There is also a tribute to Thelonious Monk, Diodati’s musician of choice, here celebrated with a daring reinterpretation of Played Twice, which shows the interplay skills of this young yet wise quintet.
The pensive last track Casa Do Amor is the happy landing of a restless path, magnificently reflected in Benedetti’s euphonium solo.
One of the most appraised guitar players in Italian contemporary jazz scene, Francesco Diodati is also the leader of the band Neko (featuring Francesco Bigoni, Carlo Conti, Francesco Ponticelli and Ermanno Baron), that has already recorded two albums under Auand Records: Purple Bra in 2010, Need Something Strong in 2012.
He is also part of MyanmarMeetsEurope since 2010, an ambitious project mixing Burmese and European music, led by composer and double bass player Tim Isfort and sponsored by Goethe Institute, which took him in Europe and Asia. Among his relevant collaborations, besides the aforementioned Italian jazz ambassador Enrico Rava, Diodati has worked with the likes of Jim Black, Paolo Fresu, Antonello Salis, Bobby Previte, Shane Endsley, Gianluca Petrella, Julien Pontvianne and Matteo Bortone’s quartet Travelers, Ada Montellanico and Gaetano Partipilo.
In 2013 and 2014 he has been awarded best guitar player of the year by Italian magazine JazzIt.