Santucci Scoppa: New TraditionSantucci Scoppa: New Tradition album cover

1. Rolling Stars

2. Fly Rome

3. Night Travel

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"Santucci Scoppa are the old-skool kings of Italian Jazz. The trumpet and tenor players Cicci Santucci and Enzo Scoppa led the group. Having been playing together since the late 60’s they are the most iconic duo that the Italian collector jazz scene has seen ever. Their album On The Underground Round was a milestone in the European jazz-funk collectors’ movement. That is an excellent hard bop session recorded in Italy in the early 70's. The whole thing grooves along with a sound that's similar to the late 60's recordings on Blue Note. Besides this one, some of the most interesting albums from the 70’s were featuring the mighty duo: from Kenny Clark’s ‘Jazz A Confronto’ on Horo, to the super rare ‘ Chet is Back ‘ by Chet Baker (long time friend during his Roman years). With Horo’s label boss Aldo Sinesio, Santucci Scoppa recorded two incredible sound-library LP (Looking Around & Mondo Operaio) that many times have been championed by DJs like Gilles Peterson & Big Bang, and are extremely sought after by DJs worldwide. With their Quintet they start to embrace the 70’s culture of B- Movies and music for film. Santucci especially has worked with the biggest Music Directors of the so-called Spaghetti Western & Italian Soundtrack: from the Academy Oscar Winner’s Ennio Morricone, to Ortolani and also Trovajoli, Piccioni, Ferrio. Santucci’s solo on the film ‘The Legend of ‘900’ is a classic example of beauty on Morricone’s score. On a Marco Di Marco connection Arision managed to track down the duo. Then in a hot London summer Mr Big Bang himself spent a week closed in a studio with the duo and some of the most talented Anglo-Italian musicians around. The result is a superb new album, which will hit the shops soon. The feeling of “retro” meets club-jazz can only be the first impression left when listening to this album, which has a lot more to reveal…Echoes of Pharoah journeys, movie-scores themes and personal touches of class from the duo are set to conquer new audience, not only the strongholds of their longtime collectors. Amazing and unexpected return to recorded music, in-style from the Roman duo. The ‘old-school’ Trumpet and Tenor players, Cicci Santucci and Enzo Scoppa strike back with 13 new pieces!

The album kicks off with a mellow Jazz-Funk intro by the title of ““A Different Road”, almost epitomizing the contemporary swerve taken in this recording. Check out the dialogue-solo between the two horns, in the middle of the track: suave. “Between 6th and 7th” is a slow Samba; a very fine piece taken where rhythm is king (check out the bass line) and the groove abounds from every instrument…winking an eye to the 70’s movies where car journeys often saw a seaside Riviera road. On the Latin-Jazz wave comes the impeccably execution of “Elephant March” Trumpet and Tenor Sax are at times mesmerizing. A truly refined Bossa. “Fly Rome” is yet another Bossa, a little retro but solar and accompanied by the delightful female vocals.

From Old To New” moves us back to the Jazz tracks. This vocal piece is hanging between classic harmonic scales and more contemporary sounds. Particularly pleasant is the Rhodes solo in the middle of a composition elsewhere directed by the 2 lords of sax and trumpet. Then after the “Improvisations” interlude it’s time for the extra-funky “Night Travel”. Reminiscences of early Pino Daniele’s music in the groove might distract from the essence of this tune, which is a sexy/jazzy/dance song. Track number 9 reveals one of the true gems in this album, “Sardinia’s Memory” is an unusual, elaborated yet captivating piece of music. With echoes of Ethnic sounds, the syncopated circular flow of the rhythm unfolds an intense ambience… Travelling without moving, for real. As a natural consequence “Transitions” is another deep-jazz composition in disguise. In fact the main theme dialogued by Santucci, Scoppa and the Rhodes sounds easily enjoyable. Yet the music is all but trivial, the fruit of skilful musicians. “Walking Fast” and “Walking Fast Reprise” are closely tied together offering respectively, the first a more free/less canonical jam still groovy and upbeat; whereas the second is an uncompromisingly jazz-bop piece but like dressed up in a contemporary suit…very energetic! Santucci-Scoppa bow-out to the public on the notes of “Way Out”, a superbly interpreted, contemporary composition to remind everyone that Jazz never dies It is ever evolving into different languages of music expressions connecting past to future, new to old, classic to experimental. This album therefore seems bound to become a collector’s item, don't miss it!"