Many people hear the word Jazz and are immediately turned off. It conjures images of complex and unfathomable, wild and impenetrable tunes, music that only other musicians can fully enjoy. If you are one of those people, then you need to listen to Luca Di Luzio, a jazz-fusion artist from Italy.

Fusion is the crucial word here, for it is what other musical flavours and styles he brings to the jazz mix that makes the difference. Take a song such as Fishing In Paradise; the intricacies of the jazz guitar are tempered with an addictive groove, muted trumpets add soul and sophistication, bass breaks up the cool factor, and the whole thing is both wonderfully accessible and exciting.

Lauderdale is a great track that switches pace and purpose just enough to keep things intriguing but not so much that the listener can’t easily follow. And that is the hallmark of Luca Di Luzio’s music in general and Never Give Up in particular. It makes jazz accessible to the masses. And it does so whilst pushing the boundaries of where jazz lies. It hops genres. It tests the limits. It is inventive and inclusive.

The title track plays with some soulful tones and textures, groovesome yet graceful (another signature element of the album), Shortcut is slinky and seductive, full of spiralling guitar lines and sensuous brass and Verso Sera, which rounds things off, is understated, spacious and beautiful.

I don’t know much about jazz, I don’t write much about jazz, and I don’t listen to too much jazz. So I don’t have the reference points to do the music justice. I can’t tell you much about the infusions and influences at work here. But I know what I like, and I like this a lot. And that is all that really matters.

Note to self: Buy more jazz albums. Buy more Luca Di Luzio music.

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