As expected, the undoubted star of the winter version of this year’s Red Sea bash in Eilat was Enrico Rava. The 75-year-old Italian trumpeter delighted the packed audience at the Wow auditorium, at the Royal Garden Hotel, with a tour de force of frontier-pushing improvisation that fed off strong melodies, solid rhythms and all manner of stylistic and sonic twists and turns. That Rava did the business was no surprise, but his three much younger compatriot sidemen – guitarist Francesco Diodati, bassist Gabriele Evangelista and drummer Enrico Morello – were a revelation.
Not only was each of them, clearly, highly skilled and open to suggestion, they displayed an almost telepathic synergy with Rava. Diodati, in particular, was particularly sympatico with the elder statesman.