Unit Five

* Management by BlueArt *

Promo-Flyer Download (pdf)

The project Unit Five comes from the need of bassist Massimiliano Rolff to develop in one single acoustic band: writing, arranging, improvising and grooving.
The music is written and arranged by Rolff with great respect for the strong hardbop influences that you can hear in the compositions. The soloists are supported by a straight-swinging rhythm section during solos, themes, specials and shout choruses.
The eclectic and long stage experience of band members gives to the originals, just like in some Silver’s or Adderley’s classics, a real sound, strongly influenced by the most typical jazz phrasing, with many touches of modernity expecially on harmonies.
The band published its first album titled “UNIT FIVE” for the independent italian jazz label “Music Center” in October 2006, which won the Jazzlighthouse Award 2006 as best jazz record, and got great respect from audience and critics all over Europe and U.S.. The new album “MORE MUSIC” (BlueArt Records, 2012), sets this band as one of the most intersting and more experienced groups of the italian jazz scene.

Liner Note – “More Music” – 2012

When I think that there’s a group of passionate listeners out there who are waiting for “more music” I consider myself to be a lucky person … well, I’m out there too, and that is why I feel this desire, which gets me going, day after day, hour after hour, and it makes me feel good. I know and I remember every single precious moment when I conceived the melodies for this album, sometimes quickly scribbled down on scraps of paper, other times written out properly in a note book, and at times not written down at all but simply kept in my mind until safely noted down on a sheet of paper or on my pc, maybe days and miles away from the initial inspiration. Those are moments of euphoria, the world around you seems to be dozing and you are in total communion with your wishes, and you can create a sparkling, strong and smiling sound. I wrote this music, thinking about my wonderful quintet of musical friends, about the energy created on stage during our concerts, about how, to my constant great surprise, we find ourselves so tightly united on cues. My creative partners have the ability to move carefree in their solos, while using a rigorous and consistent language, as is Jazz today. This recording, apparently, does not open new paths, but there are forty-three minutes and six seconds of bouncing music, something that grows and develops through a complexity that is meant to go directly to your heart and soul in the simplest way, and I bet you’ll enjoy it. It’s just … “More Music” … but we need it.

Massimiliano Rolff

Album “More Music”

  1. In the Narrows
  2. News from the Lighthouse
  3. That Funky Buzz
  4. Missing
  5. The Last Dance
  6. Guacha
  7. Four in a Room
  8. The 7th King

Audio Sample:

      1. Massimiliano Rolff/Unit Five – That Funky Buzz


Liner Notes – Unit Five – 2006

It is a great pleasure, a year after the record debut, published by this well-deserving label, of drummer Carlo Milanese (Intermission, Music Center BA 087 CD), to introduce the first work as leader of another young and well prepared musician, the bass player Massimiliano Rolff, leading his band named Unit Five. Yes, it’s always exciting to write and especially to listen to musicians like Massimiliano and his fellow artists on this record: young players very well grounded and already experienced in performing with some of the best names in the scene. But the most important thing above all is that these musicians can express the authentic language of jazz. In our days, when many musicians prefer to show off their technical skills writing intricate melodies without any swing, it is not so easy to find musicians that give more importance to a phrase or to their stylistic coherence. This is one of the strongest points in Massimiliano’s work: he’s been able to choose the right musicians and to write all the pleasing tunes in this album, letting each band-member express himself both individually and within the group. From the initial Unfaithful, through All Natural and again in Wind Blow we can appreciate Stefano Riggi building valuable solos with the strong and distinctive tone of his tenor sax, just like Giampiero Lo Bello’s shining trumpet in evidence on Didi, and skillfully muted in Corner Stomp, or with the mellow sound of his flugehorn played in the ballad Stones And Memories. The rhythm section plays its fundamental role with the guitar of Massimo Currò both as accompanist and soloist, as he shows on Theo’s Move and Thanks God, It’s A Sunny Day, and with the precise, tasteful swinging drum performance by Maurizio Borgia. I intentionally left until the end my thoughts about the leader, Massimiliano Rolff, who through this first work clearly defines his various and certainly uncommon qualities. Besides having an excellent sound, perfect timing and being a great soloist – as you can hear all throughout the album – Massimiliano shows’s a real leader, writing and arranging with taste and method, leading a band like this where every little detail is taken into full consideration. One more time – and I’m sure there will be more – dear friends who love true jazz just like me, don’t worry: the future is in good hands!

Matteo Piazza

Album “Unit Five”

  1. Unfaithful
  2. The downtown walk
  3. Theo’s move
  4. Thanks God, it’s a sunny day
  5. Didi Stones and memories
  6. All natural
  7. Corner stomp
  8. Wind blow

Audio Sample:

      2. Massimiliano Rolff/Unit Five – Unfaithful


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