The Italian modern jazz ensemble Enten Eller
collaborated with American alto saxophonist/composer Tim Berne
on the 1999 release Melquiades
. Here, the musicians reunite for a follow-up, while Berne performs on all tracks as opposed to the previous outing where he lent his wares to select pieces only. Auto da Fe is an exposition brimming with impacting dialogue, memorable themes, and oscillating choruses that bespeak various levels of intensity. Basically, Berne and trumpeter Alberto Mandarini
make for a spectacular front line, while electric guitarist Maurizio Brunod
enhances many of these works with blistering lead soloing and a psychedelic, quasi free jazz style of attack. Through it all, Berne once again distinguishes his unique voice on the alto saxophone, via slippery lines and angular phrasing along with an innate flair for the dynamic. The soloists often trade viscous fours whether partaking in airy microtonal themes, animated unison runs, or while rendering hard blowing blues-drenched motifs atop the bustling, polyrhythmic developments supplied by bassist Giovanni Maier
and drummer Massimo Barbiero
. Hence, the band perpetuates spiked peaks and cavernous valleys of sound, which is evident on compositions such as the lovely "Travelling Day" and the scorching, "7/13." Overall, the musicians straddle disparate spectrums of the jazz experience in strikingly impressive fashion. Highly recommended.