On the Dance Floor

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Enrico Rava isn't the first jazz musician to cover the music of Michael Jackson. Nor, at 70, is he the most likely. (Younger men like Nicholas Payton, Christian Scott, and Robert Glasper would seemingly be more obvious candidates.) That said, with On the Dance Floor, the Italian trumpet legend takes on an entire album of tunes associated with Jackson. According to Rava, he wasn't even really aware of Jackson's music until a few days after his death; his wife was watching a concert video, he haphazardly took a look and listen and was riveted to the point of obsession. On the Dance Floor is not the usual tribute then, because it's not wrapped in grief. Instead, it's the mark ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Enrico Rava isn't the first jazz musician to cover the music of Michael Jackson. Nor, at 70, is he the most likely. (Younger men like Nicholas Payton, Christian Scott, and Robert Glasper would seemingly be more obvious candidates.) That said, with On the Dance Floor, the Italian trumpet legend takes on an entire album of tunes associated with Jackson. According to Rava, he wasn't even really aware of Jackson's music until a few days after his death; his wife was watching a concert video, he haphazardly took a look and listen and was riveted to the point of obsession. On the Dance Floor is not the usual tribute then, because it's not wrapped in grief. Instead, it's the mark of one master musician celebrating another -- Rava rightfully considers Jackson to be among the most important musicians of the 20th century. Recorded live in Rome with the large ensemble, Parco della Musica Jazz Lab, under the direction of trombonist Mauro Ottolini, Rava takes on some of Jackson's biggest hits and some of his less familiar numbers. The set opens with a ponderous, laid-back reading of "Speechless," on which Rava uses his trademark spacing and lyricism to find room for improvisation that reflects the Italian jazz tradition, theatrical and cinematic music, and the source material. While the orchestra isn't up to playing at the communicative level of the trumpeter's smaller groups, they don't need to be. They understand how to bring the funk and make it bubble and boil on the medley of "I Just Can't Stop Loving You"/"Smooth Criminal," "Thriller," and "Blood on the Dance Floor." That said, they also color ballads with enough emotion and sensitivity to allow Rava's own sense of exploratory admiration to come through as on the hinge piece, a beautiful cover of Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" that reflects much of the tenderness Jackson imbued it with. The reading of "Little Susie" wonderfully balances drama and melody. On the Dance Floor doesn't come off as one of Rava's more disciplined recordings -- it may indeed be his loosest -- but that's by design. It's a laid-back, accessible tribute recording that celebrates Jackson's music as an achievement, and offers jazz fans of all stripes a way into it.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/8/2013
  • Label: Ecm Records
  • UPC: 602537066544
  • Catalog Number: 001718002
  • Sales rank: 180,037

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Enrico Rava Primary Artist, Trumpet
Dario Deidda Bass
Andrea Tofanelli Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Zeno DeRossi Drums
Claudio Corvini Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Giovanni Guidi Piano, fender rhodes, Toy Piano
Dan Kinzelman Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Mauro Ottolini Trombone, Tuba
Marcello Giannini Electric Guitar
Daniele Tittarelli Flute, Alto Saxophone
Franz Bazzani Keyboards
Ernesto Lopez Maturell Percussion
Technical Credits
Michael Jackson Composer
Enrico Rava Liner Notes
Bernard Belle Composer
Manfred Eicher Producer
Teddy Riley Composer
Rod Temperton Composer
Rodney Jerkins Composer
James Harris Composer
LaShawn Daniels Composer
Mauro Ottolini Arranger
Roberto Lioli Engineer
Massimiliano Cervini Engineer
James Harris III Composer
Fred Jerkins Composer
Terry Lewis Composer
Edoardo Migone Cover Photo
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