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Multifaceted, modern CLAXXX trio
lands new Auand Records album
From France, Claudio Miotti (baritone guitar), Matteo Pastorino (clarinets)
and Jean-Baptiste Pinet (drums) debut out in October
Echoing the influences of a lifetime, from rap to Hindustani music, CLAXXX mixes frankness and freshness, emanating a surprisingly creative energy with a relaxed mood and a captivating, never-exceeding sound. Born in Paris from Italian guitarist Claudio Miotti, clarinet player Matteo Pastorino and French drummer Jean-Baptiste Pinet, the trio had enough time to grow over years of collaboration.
Their longtime friendship and music efforts merge into the release of their debut album, out in late October 2018 and produced by Auand Records. Miotti’s favorite keyword is “polyhedric”: «With CLAXXX I wanted to create a straightforward music, one that touches the listeners. To do so, I’ve tried to contaminate the jazz palette with every style that has ever influenced me, the main theme being melody and simple ideas. This lineup is quite appropriate: I believe it emphasizes our interplay and allows all of us to use a wide dynamic palette.»
While the album as a whole appears to highlight the dark tones of Miotti’s baritone guitar, Pastorino’s shady timber and Pinet’s gentle approach, in many occasions the tracks open up to a bright turn. «CLAXXX was born by chance: I was listening to Bill Frisell a lot at that time and I ran into Don Byron’s “Romance with the Unseen”. I loved the sound created by his electric guitar sound and the clarinet, so I wanted to experience it. I was already playing with Matteo Pastorino in other projects and I had already started writing with that in mind. Then Matteo won the Selmer prize in 2012, which allowed him to start doubling on bass clarinet, and everything started to find its place. I believed that using baritone guitar and having no bass would make more room to experiment, and that’s how the project started.»
The soft majestic stride (“Pussycat”, “Visages”) is broken by explosive compositions (“Encore”) or by the title track, possibly the most representative element of the album: a center that calls for all elements to meet, including Raajaajee’s wild rapping: «He came like the icing on the cake – Miotti says – He listened to our music on a live show and asked me if he could add the lyrics to the track “CLAXXX”. He came to the recording studio and we put music and lyrics together. And I couldn’t be happier of the result!.»
Through a riveting blend of free jazz, soul, and funk, the duo guide listeners through Black L.A. using the imagined tale of an Oakland DJ visiting the city for the first time. Bandcamp Album of the Day Jan 5, 2021