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Lorenzo Feliciati: Frequent Flyer

It’s avant-garde jazz, but not as you know it.

Feliciati has been discreetly chiselling out a reputation as one of the modern masters of fretless bass since he began in Rome’s blues-rock scene in his early 20s. Third album Frequent Flyer sees him joined by a throng of like-minded talents, including King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto and sax player Bob Mintzer, for songs that become more intriguing the deeper you go.

In fact, the opening double salvo of The Fastswing Park Blues and Groove First are probably the least impressive things here, with Feliciati cooking up the kind of easy-rolling jazz grooves you might hear bubbling away in Starbucks. Thereon in it changes completely.

His cover of Wayne Shorter’s Footprints carries the scent of his early hero Jaco Pastorius, with the gurgling basslines and avant-garde stylings of the terrific Riding The Orient Express bringing to mind Mick Karn. Meanwhile the trumpet moans of Cuong Vu, allied to DJ Skizo’s turntablism, bring a creeped-out feel to the ethereal Never Forget.

And while this is largely a superior exercise in instrumental ensemble play, Feliciati brings down the curtain with a stirring version of King Crimson’s Thela Hun Ginjeet, complete with Guido Block’s eerie vocals.