Cardinal, Cardinal

This is one of those albums that really needs some kind of documentation in order for the listener to gain a proper understanding and appreciation of it. Regrettably, however, such information is almost entirely absent in this case. Cardinal are an Italian jazz quartet whose music walks the line between composition and improvisation. The sleeve notes to this, their first collaboration, make great play of the fact that most of the pieces on the record were realized through the use of graphic scores. Naturally I reached for the booklet, hoping that these scores, or at least extracts from them, would be reprinted as an aid to following the music. Yet with the exception of one poorly reproduced illustration, the four-panel insert contains no such extracts, leaving the listener completely in the dark as to the theoretical basis of the group’s work.

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