With a pedigree like Italian jazz trumpet player Enrico Rava’s, you know something great is possible at any given moment.
Try this on for size: He first made a big impression in Europe playing with Gato Barbieri and then played in a pianoless quartet led by the great soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy.
In the late 1960s, he was a fellow traveler with Cecil Taylor, Roswell Rudd, Marion Brown and Rashied Ali, not exactly a bunch in competition with Muzak. In Italy, he was famous for performing with Lee Konitz in Rome and then, during an eight-year stint in New York City during the ’70s, he played even more with Rudd and Co. and was one of the extraordinary musicians on Carla Bley’s legendary "jazz opera," "Escalator Over the Hill."
While it’s true that some of his latter-day discs for ECM have been unprepossessing chamber jazz (his new quintet disc "Tribe" for instance), his history at the age of 72 is so formidable that any live performance by him opens up a world of possibilities.
He’ll come to the Albright-Knox Gallery Auditorium at 2 p.m. today (Feb. 26) as part of the Hunt Real Estate Art of Jazz series curated by Bruce Eaton.
-- Jeff Simon