Lorenzo Feliciati: Frequent Flyer

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

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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.

Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.