Fabrizio Sotti ::|:: Inner Dance [E 1 Music, 2010]
Recently I’ve become acquainted with a relatively new guitarist, composer and producer on the music scene named Fabrizio Sotti. I say “new,” without any prior knowledge of his music other then his production work. Obviously being a student of his craft Sotti sharpen his skills in a variety of musical settings recording, touring, and playing with an impressive staple of top-shelve musicians on the jazz scene including the likes of Al Foster, Roy Hargrove, George Coleman, George Garzone, Steve La Spina, Sammy Figueroa, Mick Goodrick, Mark Egan, Mino Cinelu, Victor Jones, Rachel Z, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Cameron Brown, Andy LaVerne, Harvie Swartz, Brian Lynch, Mick Goodrick, Lincoln Goines, Rick Margitza, Clarence Penn and many more. Perhaps I’ll just stop here … oh no let’s take a moment and delve into his latest entitled “Inner Dance.”
Fabrizio’s immeasurable resume goes on to include two projects by the Grammy winning songstress/artist /songwriter Cassandra Wilson and her release titled Glamour” , plus – “Closer To You: The Pop Side” from last year  on Blue Note Records. It should be no surprise both records where well received by her fans!
The opener – “Blue Whisper,” leans heavily within the abstemious elements of the 60’s jazz soundscape. Furthermore, I hear without delay the influence of legendary jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery ooze thru Sotti’s augmented tonality which by the way beckons me for another spin.
On the next selection “Kindness in Your Eyes,” Sotti approaches this gem beautifully with a distinct and absorbing touch on the acoustic guitar which I find reminiscent in tonality of another amazing and gifted acoustic guitarist named Earl Klugh.
“Inner Dance,” the title of the album is an opus of unbridled and emotional textures which explores the elements of Sotti’s varied soundscape. You can hear Sotti’s voice ascend in flight in unpretentious patterns stating his case while welcoming a remarkable soloist from Switzerland named Gregoire Maret to infuse the sentiments of his inexhaustible voice via the harmonica.
In the meantime, organist Sam Brash and guitarist Sotti interlace their voices with rhythmic duo-tones on “I Thought So.” The tempo is collectively tight and sweet as they recoil their ideas as soloist attuned to incomparable Victor Jones on drums solidifies their appetite for playing contagious music together!
Sotti’s fervor to employ his acoustic voice is revisited with the distinctive melodies of “Amanecer” which features the lovely and talented vocalist from Chili named Claudia Acuna in her native language.
“Brief Talk,” in essence flows smoothly in transition to the bluesy and melodic realm texturally. On this tune Sotti invites you in concert to his diverse palette compositionally by playing the electric guitar in a relaxed tone while encompassing a thoroughly complex technique on the fret.
Sotti and the gang cleverly changes the tempo with an intense odd-metered romp titled “Last Chance.” As throughout this engagement Sotti performs his music in a trio setting, and to further establish the ambiance he calls drummer Mino Cinelu and Sam Brash on organ to join voices as a valuable threesome to pay attention too.
“Mr. T.M.” fits poignantly into the mode of sixties with a suave nu-bop vibe of the new millennium. Brash on the organ affirms his tone in the staple of organist worldwide as one to reckon with now and in the future. Sotti aptly intervenes with his signature riffs to stir up the pot … meanwhile the trio handles their business!
Sotti closes out the session in the soloist seat on the nylon strings with a stunning piece called “We Are What We Are.”
“Inner Dance” is compositionally and artistically beyond the ordinary musically. Dance is filled with nine worthy gems is appropriately titled after all it’s played and performed by this fascinating young guitarist/composer/producer named Fabrizio Sotti. Yep, this jewel is audibly contemporary in sound with homage paid to the forefathers in jazz without losing his vision artistic vocabulary. In reality, it seems to me this is what most artists aspire to do … is to record relevant, creative and accessible music for folks to simply enjoy. You see, after peeling back the pages of Fabrizio Sotti’s memorable portfolio, and listening intently to his compelling sophomore album “Inner Dance.” After this encounter with his music this project confirms why he’s regarded as one of the most in demand players, composers and producers in the music industry. —Rob Young