Devra is the alias of Italian drummer and composer Fabio De Angelis. Originally from Vicenza, Italy, Devra made a name for himself as a session drummer in his native country, collaborating with several artists on the national scene across the worlds of jazz and pop.
His experiences and cross-genre collaborations led to him arriving at a personal synthesis resulting in his upcoming debut EP. It’s a project that moves between jazz and neo-soul, with echoes of hip-hop and RnB that reflect the musical shifts and transitions he’s been through in recent years.
‘Moses’, the first single taken from his upcoming self-titled EP, transitions from free-flowing, open time into bopping hip-hop and neo-soul grooves. These are accompanied by bold horn lines and space for tasteful, expansive improvisation.
Sonically connecting with the overarching themes of transitional spaces between light and dark moments in life, the track acts as an introduction and mission statement of what’s to come. Inspired by the sounds of the Italian underground music scene, as well as hip-hop-inflected jazz of acts Robert Glasper and Roy Hargrove, ‘Moses’ also has space for expressive solos to trumpeter Francesco Fratini and tenor saxophonist Lorenzo De Luca.
Using neo-soul as the canvas for creation, in ‘Blood Water’ sees Devra team up with vocalist Sara Vanderwert to deliver an explicit message on this track – it’s our duty as human beings to respect the Earth and our connection with it.
Combining dancing vocal and flute melodies with atmospheric synth layers and a bopping neo-soul backbeat, the track also retains the jazz throughline found across Devra’s upcoming EP. There’s space for tasteful solos from both tenor saxophonist Lorenzo De Luca and alto saxophonist Zeno Merlini, which channel the emotional energy delivered by Sarah Vanderwert’s vocal performance.
Third Wave is a snapshot of the musical universe of the versatile musician and composer from Vicenza Fabio De Angelis. His music shows an opening towards the demands of contemporaneity but also a profound respect for jazz tradition, whose linguistic codes he has studied for a long time. On the one hand the writing and on the other the interpretation of the songs and standards. The common thread that binds these two expressive instances is the 50’s and 60’s jazz tradition, an obsession that crosses the “third phase” of the drummer’s stylistic exploration and to which he consecrates this first record. In this straight-ahead approach, however, there are several elements of freshness. The approach to sound, the metric modulations, the skilful use of dynamics frame the album within a contemporary post-bop where the clarity and balance of the rhythm section are flanked by the harmonic choices and improvisations of the soloists, closer to a controlled modernity.
The project consists of saxophonist Pietro Mirabassi, double bass player Francesco Bordignon and drummer Fabio De Angelis.
The pianoless trio proposes a repertoire based on the orchestral music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, revisiting their sonorities thanks to the solo character of each of the musicians.
The three met at the Conservatory of Vicenza and in 2019 they won the National Arts Award for the Jazz category, winning the prize dedicated on that occasion to the musician Pino Daniele.
Since then, the trio has played at several national events, receiving excellent reviews, and is planning a debut recording.