Umbria Jazz Winter #18 Days 1-2: December 29-30, 2010
Rea's style constantly reminded the audience that playing the piano is a physical act, though he never overdid his climaxes. Equally, he often surprised his listeners with the delicacy of his dreamy pianissimos, as in "Canzone di Marinella," De André's melancholic song dedicated to a youth beauty, found dead in a river during the spring time. Rea's arrangements and passionate interpretations faithfully reproduced, on the piano, the palette of emotional textures which dominate De André's songs, giving shape to a memorable piano solo.
Joe Locke/Dado Moroni/Rosario Giuliani: Stepping on Stars
One of the most interesting aspects of Umbria Jazz (both summer and winter editions) is that it becomes the theatre of original project which mix musicians from highly different backgrounds. Most of the times these formations end up with fostered friendships, and in some cases they sparkle into ongoing collaborations and innovative recordings.
From left: Dado Moroni, Rosario Giuliani, Joe Locke
This is what happened with saxophonist Rosario Giuliani, vibraphonist Joe Locke and pianist Dado Moroni's Stepping on Stars (Egea, 2010). The trio, performing for the first time together at Umbria Jazz 2009, recorded an album featuring original compositions from each of its members. The result is an extremely smooth work which brings together the skillful interpretive and compositional signatures of all these musicians.
The trio's performance at Umbria Jazz Winter followed the same pattern, enriched by live variations stemming from an atmosphere of joy and friendship which ran throughout the show. In "My Angel," the peculiarly liquid nature of Giuliani's alto sound was heightened by Locke's and Moroni's pianissimos. Giuliani just won Musica Jazz's readers' poll as best saxophonist, and each of his phrases confirmed his public's high expectations.
On the other hand, "Brother Alfred"Moroni's composition dedicated to McCoy Tynerclarified how this leading pianist masterly exploits the percussive nature of the piano keys, without losing the extremely sharp melodic texture in all his passages. A highly experienced and technically piercing musician (in 1987, at age 25, he was already a judge of the Thelonious Monk Competition), with a brilliant flair for irony, he turned every change of rhythm into a playful opportunity.
Locke's "Sword of Whispers," a tribute to Jimmy Scott (whose style was once described with the same words by The New York Times) disclosed the metamorphosis of Scott's whispers into Locke's vibraphone dynamics. In this piece, Locke was particularly sensitive in maintaining the metaphor by not letting his beats blast till the very end. A self-declared passionate for good English writing, Locke applies the same philosophy of the elegant choice of musical vocabulary on his own instrument.
Courtesy of Umbria Jazz Winter
Days 1-2 | Days 3-5