It is a satisfying musical experience when a performance can deliver traditional jazz without the music being reduced to orthodoxy. Such is the resonance of Franco D'Andrea's sound. The seventy-something Italian pianist follows Soprais (El Gallo Rojo, 2011), with his long-established quartet, by adding the early jazz instruments of clarinet and trombone, played respectively by Daniele D'Argaro and Mauro Ottolini. On the live Traditions And Clusters he also invites his contemporary , drummer Han Bennink, to sit in on two tracks.
On 'Monk and the Time Machine', the sextet led by Italian pianist Franco D'Andrea presents an album dedicated to Thelonious Monk. It contains many interpretations of his songs (including "Light Blue", "Bright Mississippi", "Locomotive", "Blue Monk", "Brake's Sake", "Coming on the Hudson", "Epistrophy" and "Monk's Mood") and some original compositions by the group. D'Andrea is one Italy's leading jazz musicians and has recorded a large number of albums (around 200). He has worked with an array of jazz stars, including Gato Barbieri, Steve Lacy, Dave Liebman, John Surman, Kenny Wheeler, Phil Woods, Slide Hampton, Max Roach, Johnny Griffin, Han Bennink and Dave Douglas.
A solo album is always, for a musician, something special. Then, when the musician is serious, intact, as Franco D' Andrea, then the solo album takes on a value even higher. Why Today is the result of a research work and preparation, which lasted over a year, finally resulted in a recording session that originated about two hours of music.