previous CDs reviews:
Leave it to the Italians for supplying us with their cooking recipes (...) as guitarist Enzo Rocco and multi-woodwind specialist Carlo Actis Dato are at it again with this new release, appropriately titled, Paella & Norimaki. Here, two of Italy’s most notable exponents of the new jazz way of thinking, perform a series of duets as the twosome integrates Mediterranean style lyricism with heated improv and a myriad of abstract themes along with the artist’s sporadic injections of humor and whimsy.
Not unlike a pair of rambunctious school chums exploring life’s offerings, the duo demonstrates willful, good-natured fun (…) Essentially, the musicians provide the listener with a series of rhythmically based works amid alternating dialogue and superb soloing. Throughout, the duo uncorks a multitude of polychromatic yet well organized sequences as they wittily cross genres whether pursuing Mexican-style serenades, flamenco, or two-step waltzes. However, the musicians rapidly executed unison choruses and fervent improvisational speak, equates to a modern jazz outing of the highest order (…) Overall, Paella & Norimaki is an appetizing feast for the aural senses! Recommended.
Glenn Astarita - allaboutjazz
Query: What happens when you mix a wacky Italian saxophonist with a wacky Italian guitarist? Answer: You get two wacky Italians, better known as "the Dato and Rocco show," almost a full hour of fun, and eccentric performances by these two established figures on the Italian music scene. These are two mean dudes, as you can tell from the album cover, with the musicians' two snarling faces peering out, tongue in cheek. And that is the strength and weakness of the album: There is some great playing by both players, but particularly from the lesser-known Rocco, whose sometimes abstract guitar really is a perfect foil for the earthy Dato. Sometimes these guys get a little goofy, and the results suffer. At times, they veer way outside, with the saxophonist indulging in avant-garde, freestyle over-blowing, while at others they fall back on simple Eastern European riffs. The duo is a good form for both Dato and Rocco, as their blend is seamless and the synchronicity splendid. While this is not ato's best album, it is a good one and it highlights the compelling talent of both him and the guitarist. Rocco, in particular, deserves to be better known for his unique and exciting brand of guitar playing that fits well with Dato's aggressive punches.
Steven Loewy – allmusicguide
Part of the long jazz tradition of food album titles that includes Chicken and Dumplings, Cornbread and Kidney Stew, Paella & Norimaki is another indication that no more than two chefs can create a scrumptious musical menu. The cooks here are two of Italy's most accomplished improvisers, multi-reedist Carlo Actis Dato and guitarist Enzo Rocco (...) Not afraid to whistle while they work, the two spice their creations with hearty handfuls of good humor (…) transforming what otherwise could be heard as a difficult tune into good time music. Nevertheless (…) the duo proves they can perform -- or is it prepare -- a soufflé-light, folksy composition as skillfully as they can throw hot peppers of satire into other tunes. Practitioners of an Italian version of novelle cuisine, they know when to leave the compositions short and force the listener to salivate for more (…)
Ken Waxman – jazz weekly