Pietro Tonolo: Your Songs - The Music Of Elton John (2007)
The opener, "Blue Eyes, parted of its soppy lyric, remains a memorable ballad. But it is the first phrases of Tonolo's solo (on the stock chord changes) that garners attention. His slick playing and dry tone swishes like a capricious Mediterranean wind. In fact, all three players are pure melodists, and everyone feels right at home in the harmonically unencumbered arrangements of these popular tunes, letting their own melodies and lines cozily rub against Motian's freewheeling, punctuated flux.
One such noted exchange is Goldstein's interaction with the drummer on the Monk-ish arrangement of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, where he subtly alludes to Motian's past employer's unique stride piano-influenced style and use of fast scalar passages. The pianist's solo on "Rocket Man, played here as a jazz waltz, is just as interesting. Starting with a three-note idea, he then alternates over-the-bar lines, triplet phrases with bop-ish, 16th notes flurries and shorter melodic ideas.
The program's only weak spots are the endings to "Tiny Dancer and "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word. The latter ends with a heretic fade-out, and reversely, the former's coda could have been stretched out a few more bars.
The session's underpinning vision of pairing accessible, charted hits with brilliant musicianship succeeds, with its focused and sober presentation, in flattering the ears of connoisseurs and neophytes alike.
Track Listing: Blue Eyes; Tiny Dancer; Rocket Man; Your Song; One; Goodbye Yellow Brick Road; Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word; White Street; Epilogue: Semifonte.
Personnel: Pietro Tonolo: tenor amd soprano saxophone; Gil Goldstein; piano, accordion; Steve Swallow: electric bass; Paul Motian: drums.
Record Label: ObliqSound