Ivan Valentini’s jazz quintet is an avant garde ensemble whose latest release, Light And Darkness is an active display of contrasting lyrical configurations and jazz phraseology that gives meaning to the term "free mobility." The quintet of Ivan Valenti on soprano and alto saxophone, Enrico Lazzarini on double bass, Alberto Capelli on electric and acoustic guitar, Andrea Burani on drums, and Paolo Botti on viola and banjo, create a symphony of mish-moshed chord patterns and squiggly lined paraphrases that make each track uniquely bottled as the stringent angles continually transform causing the tunes to undergo a metamorphosis and making all new patterns at every turn.
The somber tones of "Linda’s Mood" are dramatically enhanced, but along the chord progression are cuts that shift the tune’s vibrations and sonic patterns which signal mood changes along the chord dynamics. What starts out feeling sad gradually makes its way to sounding uplifting, and other songs have the vice versa effect. The activity in these compositions is in a constant state of flux creating movements that shift and change their patterns, tone and dynamics. Strangely, the album does not appear to be a scientific study of how notes work, but a study of how these musicians interact with each other through their lyrical phrasing. The music is highly experimental and shows a large degree of ingenuity. Their one rule seems to be to break free of structure and convention and to move freely, stimulating each other’s phrases and bouncing off of each other’s vibe. The chord progressions surrender to the stream of consciousness that guides them.
The thought processes implemented in these tunes which cause them to take shape are charted from note to note. The quintet shows that working as a unit does not have to mean that the harmonies are linear or agreeable. In fact, Valentini’s quintet creates very irregular harmonies, but they also always work as a solid unit. The numerous slants along the progressions has caused this group to be nicknamed the Ivan Valentini "Slanting" Quintet. In April 2008, Ivan Valentini presented his compositions included in this CD, Light And Darkness in a concert at the Peking University Hall.