Past Inside the Present
On his debut release 'The Past Inside The Present´ Italian guitarist Gianfranco Continenza has chosen fine sidemen who perform his original music with finesse and ease. The music on this recording is a complex fusion of progressive and funky elements. Gianfranco has composed and put together 10 pieces that serve as a launching pad for, at times breathtaking work from Bill Evans (sax), Maurizio Rolli, Scott Kinsey (keyboards, from Tribal Tech), Dante Melena, and Angelo Trabucco. The abilities Gianfranco brings to this date are formidable. Like many a Berkleee alumnus, he has chops of such hyper proficiency a listener can do little but stand amazed - but Gianfranco is more than a capable player: Gianfranco has chosen a difficult complex path for himself but he´s obviously having a gas following it. There´s a light, warm, familiar feeling to Gianfranco´s music. The compositions are well crafted and are harmonically, rhythmically and melodically superb, Gianfranco´s guitar playing was full of energy, exploration and sheer chops. Gianfranco seems to be able to move seamlessly from soulful gut wrenching playing to soaring technically astounding passages. \'This is the first CD from Italian guitarist and educator Continenza, who has been playing guitar for a quarter century but only now thought he had something to say and wanted it documented. To declare he had something to say is an understatement. This album is full of powerful and fresh fusion played, for the most part, by some very savvy Italian musicians. On various pieces Continenza is joined by fusion stalwarts Bill Evans (sax) and keyboardist Scott Kinsey. \'Outside That Door\' opens with an echoing short vocal declamation. Those are the last words you will hear. Continenza introduces a guitar riff directly from the Al Di Meola School of Guitar Riffs. Very quickly he is joined in unison by Bill Evans (sax) for a staccato-laden section that leads into a predictably excellent blowing session from Evans (sax). Continenza\'s solo turn comes. He uses some sort of external device to alter the sound of his guitar and just goes for it. Lessons learned from Al Di Meola are left in the locker. Continenza has his own distinct voice. This guy can play really good! All of these musicians can. This is top-notch fusion music that I would be happy to go outside, or inside, any door to hear more of.\' Walter Kolosky / JAZZ.COM "I was very impressed by Gianfranco's playing and I was very impressed by his compositions too, it's a really wonderful music, great playing. Continenza is a very talented musician and original too. Very strong quality music, great improvisation. He improved so much since last time we played together and he was playing good even then. I liked very much the musicians of the CD too. Great musicians. Even if I come from a different generation I really apprecciated the way Gianfranco used the guitar effects, it's a great guitar sound. I have to say: it's a really great CD." Joe Diorio \'As a huge fan of contemporary jazz-fusion, I was pleasantly surprised when I put on the CD "The Past Inside the Present" by Gianfranco Continenza. Frankly I was amazed that players in Italy were playing that style of music at such a high level. The compositions were very interesting and Gianfranco's guitar playing was full of energy, exploration and sheer chops. He has come a long was since our days together at GIT in Hollywood where he studied music in the early '90's. And Gianfranco's choices of musicians to accompany him on this recording effort are first-rate players including jazz sax virtuoso Bill Evans. This would be a fun band to see play live. But listening to the CD in my car here in rainy Seattle will do just fine.\' Don Mock \' It was a pleasure working on the CD with Gianfranco \' Bill Evans.