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Mai, Luca T.: Heavenly Guide [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Starting with a skronky and dark version of Thelonious Monk's "Epistrophy", saxophonist Luca T. Mai of the Italian improv/rock/avant band Zu presents his debut solo album, taking his listeners on a profound journey from heavy improvisation to layered drones and soundscapes, an astonishing excursion between the celestial heights and the dark abyss.

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product information:

UPC: 9120036682894

Label: Trost Records
Catalog ID: TROST 186LP
Squidco Product Code: 28660

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Austria
Packaging: LP
Recorded at ZK squatt Riot Studio, in rome, Italy, in September, 2018, by David C. And Luca T.M.


Luca T. Mai-baritone saxophone

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Artist Biographies:

Luca Tommaso Mai is an Italian saxophone player, known for the groups Zu, Black Engine, Divus, Mombu, Nerve 4tet, Psychofagist, Udus, and Zu93.

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track listing:


1. Intro - Epistrophy 3:54

2. Heavenly Guide 4:31

3. Manum ad Ferrum 3:49

4. The Sound of his Horn 1:44


1. Gazzeloni 2:54

2. Bahr Attla 1:57

3. Celestial Nile 6:29
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Baritone saxophonist Luca T. Mai is best known for his membership in the mighty Italian avant rock trio ZU. On his solo debut album, Heavenly Guide, he shifts his probing and powerful saxophone artistry from energetic soundscapes to celestial, layered sax drones. Immersive and deep."-Trost

"Luca T. Mai is a saxman who keeps company. As part of Italian avant-rock group Zu, he has helped construct numerous edifices of sound. His debut solo offering, Heavenly Guide is something different - though it shares with Zu a willingness to transcend genres. Its baritone saxophone traverses not just the heavens, but the fiery deep and the liminal hinterland as well. Just as Dante had Virgil to guide him, Mai follows some of the greats. On the first track, eerie static howls give way to a booming free-funk version of Thelonious Monk and Kenny Clarke's "Epistrophy". Later, we get a hurtling rendition of Eric Dolphy's "Gazzelloni", whose nod to the Italian flautist is now returned by a fellow countryman. Even by himself, Mai challenges Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Orchestra for the most riotous recording of this piece.

Across the remainder of the album, the haywire journey takes other carriageways. The title track ascends into lofty territory as promised, with loop or echo extending the saxophone's midrange into sculptural shapes. "Manum ad Ferrum" plummets back to a guttural ground. The title presumably refers to the Roman emperor Aurelian, nicknamed "hand on hilt" for his military fervour. With an edge of distortion, Mai's hand seems to operate an enormous, sawing power tool. Meanwhile, the closing track weaves six minutes of gossamer drone, which metallic harshness only cuts through occasionally."-sjwrogers, A Closer Listen

Get additional information at A Closer Listen
Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Solo Artist Recordings
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