Editors’ Notes Italian trumpet player Enrico Rava didn’t really get to know Michael Jackson’s music until after the King of Pop passed away in 2009. But then MJ's songs became a big part of Rava's life, and Rava on the Dance Floor finds the trumpeter reimagining 10 tracks written or performed by the R&B giant. Rava is backed by Parco della Musica Jazz Lab, a big band with younger musicians. The arrangements are by trombonist Mauro Ottolini, and the album was recorded at a live performance in Rome. Things start off with a version of “Speechless,” from MJ's 2001 release Invincible. (Contrary to popular opinion, Rava prefers Jackson’s later recordings.) A low-key piano intro is followed by Rava’s lyrical statement and a fine solo by tenor saxophonist Dan Kinzelman. The perky “They Don’t Care About Us,” with nice tuba from Ottolini, fuses Nino Rota, reggae, and hard-hitting rock. “Thriller,” propelled by Ernesto Lopez Maturell’s percussion and fierce tuba, is a standout. Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” features a lovely arrangement and more delightful soloing from Rava. Dance Floor wraps up with “History,” a mélange of martial music, blasting horns, and crunching guitar.

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