Italian Instabile Orchestra Italian Instabile Festival: Pisa Teatro Verdi, December 1997

Held in the shadow of the leaning tower of Pisa, the Instabile Festival was a three-day event dedicated solely to the works of the Italian Instabile Orchestra, an all-star 19-piece big band composed of the creme of Italian improvisers and composers and its stylistic boundaries are just as wide. American jazz from rag time to electric fusion, soundtracks, bel canto, Balkan and Italian folk music are covered by 15 of the 19 musicians who both conducting and compose. To hear the festival in its entirety would have required a multi-CD box set; this set is whittled down to 18 pieces on two CDs that alternate between orchestra and small group pieces. This music radiates with a powerful life force. (Leo)