By the late '70s, a young Carlos Franzetti had already made studio recordings and scored for films in Mexico and his native Argentina before arriving in the United States. This debut recording as a leader reflects not only his orchestral side, but his love for complex melodies and the jazz fusion of the day. There are tracks with a huge string and brass complement, and a smaller New York City-based combo featuring players like tenor saxophonist George Young, the great Latin jazz flute master Mauricio Smith, and trumpeter Lew Soloff, among others. Franzetti plays piano and electric keyboards, but his main role is that of composer, arranger, and conductor, as these groups make movie soundtrack-styled music and electric jazz parallel to that of Chick Corea.
In the contemporary vein, Franzetti's lively piano sets up the under-three-minute "Something from the South," a spirited, bright small group samba that is accented by the ARP synthesizer, while "Pandora" features the N.Y.
C. horns in a extremely busy chart that reflects the speed-demon melody lines Corea favors, a faster Brazilian beat, the excellent drumming of Portinho, and Young's tenor. Young is a peer of Michael Brecker, and his Seventh Avenue neo-bop sound takes over on the meaty nine-minute commercial seduction tune "Mambo Tango" as Franzetti melodically doubles on acoustic guitar and Fender Rhodes, and leads a "la la la" vocal chant stemming from his heritage. The orchestral side of Franzetti comes to the forefront during "Gravitational Forces," a multifaceted acid trip as strings and horns push or pull the stretched harmonics in a very film noir manner. A pensive "Pavane" is another instrumental track that combines the lushness of stairstep strings with flute and the Rhodes electric piano very similar to John McLaughlin's symphonic fusion on his groundbreaking album Apocalypse. Singer David Lucas is incorrectly credited for "Pavane," but his name does appear on the title selection, a pop-jazz tune where his artistic Frank Sinatra-type crooning countermands the large string section, concluding in an instrumental chase scene motif that seems disconnected without a video reference.
Clearly, Franzetti's talent is front and center, perhaps sounding a bit dated on this 2008 CD reissue -- nevertheless, this is the seed for more fantastic journeys as his career as a jazz-influenced musician gained momentum.
|Galaxy Dust / Carlos Franzetti||Carlos Franzetti||6:34|
|Pandora / Carlos Franzetti||Carlos Franzetti||4:01|
|Gravitational Forces / Carlos Franzetti||Carlos Franzetti||5:55|
|Something from the South / Carlos Franzetti||Carlos Franzetti||2:51|
|Pavane / Carlos Franzetti||Carlos Franzetti||6:40|
|Mambo Tango / Carlos Franzetti||Carlos Franzetti||8:53|