Enrico Pieranunzi/Paul Motian: Doorways (2004)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Not long ago I heard the excellent pianist Russ Lossing's fine recording As It Grows with Paul Motian on drums. Now comes another excellent, very different pianist, Enrico Pieranunzi, also with Motian and a new record that recalls the glory of Jarrett's time on ECM. Doorways covers wide territory, both charted and uncharted.
Pieranunzi has fine jazz chops and improvises with intricacy and subtlety. Tenorist Chris Potter adds a big, warm, emotive sound, reminiscent at times of Jan Garbarek. His playing is precise but not academic, and he seems to warm up to the music and rise to the challenge. Meanwhile, Motian. His playing is a stamp of distinction on anything he touches and could be identified from under a mattress. His time sense is so loose as to barely exist, but exist it does. Doorways doesn't brashly swing. Rather, Motian generates an undercurrent of rhythmic electricity. The lack of bass gives him an uncluttered ground and he paints with subtle beauty and great style. His lighter-than-air technique allows the music to breathe, but he can also generate as big a sound as the music requires. It must be pure joy to play with him, knowing you can play with as much subtlety or bravado as you can muster without fear of being stepped on by, or stepping on, the drummer.
Doorways is yet another fine, state-of-the-art piano trio. It's up-to-date and immensely listenable, easily meeting all the benchmarks of good jazz.
Track Listing: Double Excursion 1; Double Excursion 2; Doorways; No Waltz For Paul; Utre; Blue Evening; Anecdote; Suspension Points; Double Excursion 3; Words Of The Sea; The Shifting Scene; The Heart Of A Child; Utre (alternative version)
Personnel: Enrico Pieranunzi, piano; Paul Motian, drums; Chris Potter, tenor and soprano saxophones on "Doorways", "Anecdote" and "The Heart Of A Child"
Record Label: CAM Jazz
Style: Modern Jazz