Sal La Rocca // Insomnia (OFFICIAL 2012)

“It Could be The End” (new Sal la Rocca CD release by IGLOO records) reveals more than anything else a world that is personal yet coherent and — if the word still means anything – modern. A world that is as radically jazz as it is radically far from the mainstream that Sal La Rocca was for so long a staunch, even exclusive, champion. Only fools never change their minds and Sal La Rocca is anything but a fool. Careful in the early days not to rush through things and to start with the roots – Ray Brown, Paul Chambers — the most buccaneer of our double-bassists (or the other way round) has been on a quest that is as surprising as it is fascinating. A quest that reveals a musician that is far from his image as a bop sideman, partner of Steve Grossman, Jacques Pelzer and Bob Mover. Perhaps remembering his early days tainted with rock, for his personal projects he works with guitarists whose approach to their instrument blends rock energy and sounds with jazz improvisations (Peter Hertmans and Jacques Pirotton on the previous album “Latinea” and the young Lorenzo di Maio on this one). Let’s be clear: a record signed by a bassist-leader often resembles other releases recorded by bassist-leaders, a heavy revenge on the status of accompanist; spotlight on the bassist, all the themes are for me, the first chorus and codas… This second album by La Rocca deftly avoids that trap. With the exception of “Crescent”, all the compositions are signed La Rocca but the rest is impeccably balanced and each musician comes out of the adventure with something to remember. Could this be the end?

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