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Review: Roberto Manzin / Francesco Lo Castro - Improfives
Album Cover - Improfives
 Artist: Roberto Manzin / Francesco Lo Castro
 Album: Improfives
 Date of Release: 2010/07
 Label: Manzin - Lo Castro HMP
 Cat. No.: MLCHMP01
 Country of Release: UK
 Genre/s: Jazz

 Sub-Genre/s: Contemporary, Post-Bop, Hard Bop
 Type: Studio
   Time: 67:31
   Date of Review: 2011/11/02
   Web Site:,
   Sample Track

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Released in 2010 on Manzin - Lo Castro HMP, the Roberto Manzin, alto and tenor sax, and Francesco Lo Castro, guitar, co-led quintet's Improfives also features Maurizio Minardi on piano, Nick Pini on bass, and Francesco Mendolia on drums. One hell of a line-up to start with!

Of the ten tracks on Imrofives, six are Manzin originals, four Lo Castro ones. All the compositions are excellent and leave plenty of space for soloing, of which all the players make good use. There is a strong Mediterranean, even Italian, melodic feel to the music, combined with contemporary jazz. Overall, this makes for a very relaxing, almost laid-back, pleasant listen.

If the ensemble playing would be very hard to fault, the soloing would be impossible to. The quintet all deliver some excellent soloing, very much in the letter and the spirit of the title. With perhaps the most experience, the highly versatile Manzin stands out with his fluid, imaginative improvs. However, that is not to say that especially Lo Castro and Minardi lag behind, far from it. Lo Castro here provides some of the 'coolest' and most relaxed nylon string guitar around, with a distinctive style all his own. Manzin's beautiful, mellow voice is also especially noteworthy, already very closely approaching the richness of his tone today.

A thoroughly consistent album, Imrofives is highly compelling and attractive. There is a certain charm about it that keeps one almost mesmerised. This is a very rewarding, and above all enjoyable listen. This line-up works extremely well together, and one would hope to hear more from them and see them explore their ideas further. Much further.

Roberto Manzin / Francesco Lo Castro's Imrofives is a cut above the rest and should be compulsory for any connoisseur of highly melodic jazz.

© 2011 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.

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Track List:

 1. And Then There Was You (Lo Castro) - 5:19
 2. At The Pyramid (Manzin) - 7:24
 3. Prisioneiro (Manzin) - 9:14
 4. Gioconda's Waltz (Manzin) - 4:54
 5. Hope's Drops (Manzin) - 8:52
 6. Ostinato (Lo Castro) - 5:02
 7. Twelve For Vilnius (Manzin) - 6:38
 8. Meu Feixe De Sol (Manzin) - 6:05
 9. Song For Paul (Lo Castro) - 4:02
10. La Fiesta (Lo Castro) - 10:01

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Roberto Manzin - alto & tenor sax
Francesco Lo Castro - nylon string guitar
Maurizio Minardi - piano
Nick Pini - double bass
Francesco Mendolia - drums


Purchasing Info:

Improfives can be purchased from:

Amazon UK (CD)

Amazon UK (MP3) (CD) (MP3)

CD Universe


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