Album: Paolo Fresu, Mistico Mediterraneo (ECM)

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The Independent Culture

The Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu is one of the great stars of European jazz, his Chet Baker-influenced style excelling in intimate, human-scale settings.

So here he is with a polyphonic Corsican choir whose seven members can sound like an orchestra, plus the accordionist Daniele di Bonaventura, in an epic Mediterranean song cycle composed of sacred and secular texts, ancient and modern. There's some great bits (try "Dies Irae" or "Gloria") but at almost an hour it's a long haul.