Small Choices (Aut) is a jazz album that is built from the bottom up, or the inside out, or there are portions where the playing of Giacomo Papetti, Emanuele Maniscalco, and Gabriele Rubino sound as of they’re outside trying to play their way in. While the outside exterior may sound like free form jazz, hearing the way the piccolo and soprano and bass clarinets are used may make some listen to this as a classical piece, which would make sense. “Escape From Ainola” sounds like a song you may expect to hear in a dramatic film shot in the fall or winter while “Béla Bartok in memoriam” is deliberately mournful. A nice and welcome energy boost can be felt in “Hu Rock”, where the three musicians create a close-to-jam that never quite gets there but it’s the attempt in getting “there” that makes it special.
One hears music like this and while distinctively European, you can hear how their influences transferred over to not only American jazz, but our own folk musics as well, the passing of cultures and how that steady stream still exists. What the actual small choices may be is unknown but by looking at the cover artowkr, it may be about making tough decisions that aren’t so touch, but the choice made could cause a ripple effect in your live and others around you. Hearing an adventurous album like this is a mere choice, but a wise one that will lead to positive effects.
(Small Choices may be purchased directly from Aut Records.)