Sonic Nutrition

Fusing styles once held separate has become a standard practice in today's genre-hopping climate. On In Cerca di Cibo (In Search of Nourishment), veteran Italian clarinetist Gianluigi Trovesi and accordionist Gianni Coscia find nourishment in jazz, classical and folk musical traditions.

North Italian traditional music forms the backbone of this collection, but Trovesi and Coscia skate through Italian dance halls, sanctified chamber music halls, Parisian alleyways and turn-of-the-century New York jazz clubs. The result is simultaneously nostalgic and fresh.

The album begins emphasizing spacious, introspective tone poems resembling at times the ambient film music of bandoneon virtuoso Dino Saluzzi, also an ECM artist. The title track (RealAudio excerpt) casts a dreamlike spell with a plaintive clarinet melody floating over drawn-out accordion washes. As the album continues, Trovesi and Coscia's sound broadens, sumptuous drones giving way to flurries of clarinet sparks and lively Polish mazurkas.

"Geppetto" (RealAudio excerpt) fuses the longing of cabaret and tango, acting as a dimly lit street, foggy memories drifting by, slick streets under foot. Trovesi's tone conjures up fantasies of Sidney Bechet playing for the hot club in France, as evidenced on "Django"

(RealAudio excerpt), the colorful and elegant ode to Belgian guitarist Reinhardt.

Like George Gershwin, Bela Bartok, Kurt Weill and Astor Piazzola, this duo draw on innumerable musical forms. In the process, they blend composition and improvisation, dissolving the boundaries.

Aware of the past yet distinctly modern, In Cerca di Cibo creates a sound outside of category and time.