Halfplugged Syncotribe is the new expanded quintet version of the Syncotribe trio, which has already been active for five years. Its leader, saxophonist and composer Maurizio Giammarco, presented in January as part of the Recording Studio event several of his new compositions specially designed for this group, which is made up of excellent jazz musicians of different generations. The concert became “Only Human,” the new record from Parco della Musica Records, the label of the Fondazione Musica per Roma.
“The music on this record comes to meet a feeling of impatience,” Maurizio Giammarco declares, “that is, the one I feel when faced with the generalized and irresponsible use of mass communication tools. Whether it is our own fault, the fault of technologies, or the fault of unscrupulous third parties, we are now faced with a new paradigm of interpersonal relationships-as if it were technology, today, that is guiding everyone’s interests and cultural orientations.”
The title “Only Human” thus refers to the “awakening of a new humanism: “This is the meaning of my saying, (I am) only human.” In the quintet Luca Mannutza also complements the organ with acoustic and electric piano, instruments that greatly broaden the group’s expressive range. Other elaborate crossover sounds are the preserve of Paolo Zou, a young Roman guitarist among the most innovative of the moment. Bassist Matteo Bortone and drummer Enrico Morello, for their part, offer one of the most convincing examples around of how a modern, super tight-knit rhythm section works, and ready for any rocambolic level of interplay.
For many years, Giammarco has stubbornly pursued his own personal path of auteur jazz, where tradition and actuality of jazz music (and whatever else) come together in an elaborate and thoughtful compositional synthesis. Between classicism, experimentation, writing and spaces left for extemporaneous creativity, his music never loses that element that he considers primary to any quality jazz: the ability to weave and tell interesting and, as much as possible, personal stories.