Born in Naples, educated in New York and now residing in Paris, drummer Francesco Ciniglio combines spotless drumming facility with substantial compositional flair, and has the capacity to move, reflect and express through his music.
An in-demand sideman, Ciniglio has collaborated with Wynton Marsalis, Shai Maestro, Aaron Parks, Dayna Stephens, Seamus Blake and Tony Tixier. Following his debut solo release ('Wood', with Parks and Joe Sanders), Ciniglio returns as leader for his Whirlwind debut, 'The Locomotive Suite', a set of compositions for sextet that combine a personal metaphor of resilience with snapshots of his formative familial influences. Barcelona-based Raynald Colom (trumpet), fellow Paris emigre Matt Chalk (alto) and Matteo Pastorino (bass clarinet) take the frontline duties, with Frenchman Alexis Valet on vibraphone and rising star Felix Moseholm on double bass.
The suite is a collection of substantial, knotty harmonies, rhythmic shifts and spacious textures. But it also experiments internally, with chordal horn textures giving bass and vibraphone more melodic freedom. The unusual scoring is inspired by the soundworlds of Pat Metheny and Ben van Gelder, bridging the gap between music for large ensemble and harmonically focused trio music. Or, as Ciniglio puts it, it's all about "finding an ensemble that's not too big or small."
"This album is all about movement - getting a train here, marching there," summarises Ciniglio. But it also reflects on people and places, and on the personal growth that helps make 'The Locomotive' Suite a significant compositional statement.