Francesco Covarino – Olive

oliveThere is a thing that happens when you prepare to start a family. Sometimes referred to as nesting, that’s really just a quaint term for the giant freak-out most of us undergo regarding the various preparations under way.

Household finances become all-consuming. Suddenly you must be a grown-up, focused solely on the family’s accounts. There is little time for anything but income-generating endeavours.

Somehow, in the midst of all this, Francesco Covarino found time to produce a 29-minute drum/percussion solo album. Fourteen short improvisations, all of them recorded live without editing or overdubs. (Presumably he was in a hurry.)

“My wife was pregnant with our first daughter, who we were expecting any day,” he writes. “In the first sonogram, she was just a little thing, the size and shape of an olive, so ‘Olive’ was the name we used to refer to her during almost the entire pregnancy. While recording this music, I was thinking: ‘When my daughter grows up she will listen to this and think: This is what my dad was like when I was about to be born.’”

Olive is a unique treat. While it may not satisfy Covarino’s recently enhanced financial responsibilities, it is a genuine accomplishment. Despite its limited instrumentation, the album is a varied and often surprising listen.

Covarino appeared in this space in July. His collaboration with guitarist Alessandro Incorvaia produced the beautiful Granada, named for Covarino’s home town in Spain.

His playing style lends itself well to minimalist recordings, a fact both albums illustrate effectively.

The world is full of skilled drummers. A small minority however could pull off anything close to Olive. Covarino deserves our warm congratulations – twice over.

Kevin Press

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