By Grady Harp
Published: November 17, 2012

It is rare that a recording comes along that is so full of sparks an new ideas while at the same time delivering and solid, extraordinarily music experience as is this masterful production called SYNTHESIS. The initial creative force is Claudio Scolari who has created a trio that uses not only the traditional jazz instruments, but also uses new instruments, electronic sounds and the melodies and harmonies of modern jazz. The result is a streaming of music that seems that it has roots in jazz but then feathers in the mysterious and seductive sounds of the Middle East, primarily because of the inclusion of the melodica, also known as the `pianica', `blow-organ' or `key-flute', is a free- reed instrument similar to the melodion and harmonica. This music is intoxicating the original and seductively beautiful.

All About Jazz

By Eyal Hareuveni
Published: October 24, 2012

Synthesis unites two Italian drummers-the leader, Claudio Scolari, an educator whose background is in classical music, and the younger Daniele Cavalca. Both complement many other instruments, including Scolari's son, trumpeter Simone Scolari, for a musical journey that seeks to find new melodic textures. This project continues the work of the trio that began on Colors of Red Island (Principal, 2010), but with new instruments and sounds.
All the compositions were written by the two drummers in a linear process. They began by sketching the primary melodic lines with vintage synthesizers and later added rhythmic percussion patterns and ornamented these lines with piano, flute, bass and melodica. The drummers exchange roles of time keeping with dynamics that aim to expand the expressive tonality. The trumpeter then interprets and improvises upon these thematic lines.
This process guarantees rich and detailed harmonic textures and driving rhythmic patterns, that have an accessible and too obvious structure, as on the Afro-Cuban "Rituals" or cinematic "Fragment of autumn," where the trumpeter takes a leading role. On "Hymn of the inventions" the trio experiments more with its palette of sounds, as the detached electronic sounds blend with the warm melodica, followed by a spare pulse, which creates a mysterious cinematic soundscape.
When the formula alters, as on the longest track, "Dialogue," infectious repeated piano lines meet independent and massive electric bass and drum lines and the music soars. Then, suddenly, the playful interplay of the duo reinvents itself and becomes open-ended and more muscular. The same happens on the improvised "Rebirth," with its tight piano-bass-drums groove that enables the trumpeter to flesh it out with effective and hard blows.
Colorful and engaging.

By Dave Summer
Published: October 19, 2012

Percussionist and composer Claudio Scolari finds a way to make avant-garde music out of the same ingredients that many ECM artists create atmospheric soundscapes.  The thing of it is, he doesn’t appear satisfied with simply having developed his own uniquely compelling sound.  Whereas others may have simply coasted on the creation of the sound itself and created a series of comparable tunes, on Synthesis, Scolari appears to venture into other music territories.  There’s some riffs on jazz, including one with Latin jazz rhythms, and there’s a few that hit the folk-jazz elements, and then others that earn the avant-garde tag. Richly textured.  Plenty of percussion with some trumpet to soar over the top of it all. Something for those who like Something Different, and a nice release, especially following on the heels of his excellent release Colors of Red Island.

JAZZRYTMIT - WebMagazine - Finland
By Jouko Kirstilä
Published: October 06, 2012

The trio is a great and mighty powerful line-up, which can be get in the impression of a bigger composition. The band has developed its own fanciful modern sound from, where is the beautiful simple chamber jazz, classical base, combined with the most attractive free jazz improvisation. Counterbalance that this voice of the world has been supplemented by a shadowy try and imaginative synthesizers, creating a gentle electronic pulse. The album's name, Synthesis, aptly reflects the time of this entity. (JKI)


By Brent Black
Published: July 27, 2012

Claudio Scolari, Daniele Cavalca and Claudio's son Simone Scolari have taken their previous recording Colors of Red Island and have created a critics worst nightmare but in an incredibly brilliant fashion. A sonic exploratory where what would be considered a more free jazz approach here in the west is merged with a deceptively subtle European chamber jazz approach to form an all most experimental hybrid of sound with a cinematic flair but with an organic symphonic undercurrent of new electronic sounds, instruments to create one of the most inventive recordings that I personally may have heard in perhaps a decade. A sonic exploratory would be inaccurate and disingenuous in describing the evolution of the remarkable recording but Synthesis does take on a more ambient pulse as the tunes are developed throughout. Synthesis is inventive, imaginative and intoxicating.


By S. Victor Aaron
Published: August 07, 2012

Scolari, Cavalca and Scolari’s son trumpet player Simone Scolari are back again this year with a new exploration of ideas put forth on Red Island, entitled Synthesis. There’s a much of the same ingredients found on the prior new record that are used on the new one: a sleek, synthesizer-kissed modern sound, that’s very spacious, loose, with sharply contrasting timbres. And again, Scolari and Cavalca complement their drums by playing a whole host of other instruments, ranging from flute to various keyboards to bass. The first couple of tracks “Synthesis” and “Expression of Image” in particular carryover their winning formula. On the first selection, there’s the familiar conversation between Scolari on drums and Cavalca on vibes played as a percussive counterpoint to the drums. Cavalca’s melodica acts as a foil to Simone Scolari’s sparring trumpet that’s light on its feet.

SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: Read why Colors of Red Island made our "Best of 2011, Fusion Jazz list.