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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Enrico Pieranunzi, Marc Johnson, Joey Baron: Play Morricone 1 & 2

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Film lovers all over the world recognize Ennio Morricone as one of the best score composers of all time. His music has been used in more than 500 movies and TV shows. About 60 of them have won Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTA awards and other honors. Enrico Pieranunzi, Marc Johnson and Joey Baron started a trio in 1984 and one of their most interesting projects has been to create and record jazz arrangements for some of Ennio Morricone's vast list of compositions. Pieranunzi has recorded in dozens of films whose soundtracks were composed by Morricone and ...

LIVE REVIEWS

London Jazz Festival 2013

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Enrico Pieranunzi, Julie Sassoon and Stan Tracey--Pianos on the Edge London Jazz Festival November 15-24, 2014 The Bishopsgate Institute in the City of London, a few blocks from the Bank of England, might seem an odd place for a jazz gig but--under the auspices of the Vortex Jazz Club in Dalston--stranger things do happen. On this opening night of 2013's EFG London Jazz Festival, this double bill of the Enrico Pieranunzi Trio and Julie Sassoon proved an inspired and contrast-ripe pairing that somehow suited this shrine to artisanal and proletarian learning. Sassoon opened ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Enrico Pieranunzi: Live at the Village Vanguard

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Italian jazz pianist Enrico Pieranunzi, with his melodic romanticism and wondrous sense of harmony, deepened by by his classical training, gets compared often and aptly to the legendary and game-changing pianist Bill Evans (1929-1980). While Pieranunzi's style is more gregarious, and less introspective than that of Evans--and often more abstract--he does share with the late piano icon a penchant for the mode of the interactive trio. In the case of Live at the Village Vanguard, the comparison can be pushed further: the set's drummer, Paul Motian--who passed away in 2011; this is one of his last recording efforts--sat in the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Enrico Pieranunzi: Permutation

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Italy's jazz piano poet, Enrico Pieranunzi, records with his “American Trio"--bassist Scott Colley and drummer Antonio Sanchez--on Permutation, a collection of original Pieranunzi compositions that concentrate on percussive motifs and rhythmic variations. Pieranunzi's résumé is long and varied, and Permutation shows the pianist has no plans in slowing down his musical explorations.For all of the impressive composition on the disc, it is Pieranunzi's evening ballad, “Within the House of Night," that illustrates the composer's firm grasp of the simple and elegant. Its theme is a pretty ascending pattern that the pianist resolves properly, but not before adding the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Enrico Pieranunzi with Marc Johnson and Paul Motian at the Village Vanguard

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Enrico Pieranunzi TrioThe Village VanguardNew York, NYJuly 9, 2010 The first full week of July 2010 was a hot one for New York City, marked by record- setting temperatures, sweat-choked subways, and scorched sidewalks. But it also saw a rare appearance by Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi on this side of the Atlantic, at the venerable Village Vanguard, alongside two other master players in Marc Johnson on bass and Paul Motian on drums. Pieranunzi is one of the most revered players of jazz piano in the fertile Italian scene. As a young ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Enrico Pieranunzi / Marc Johnson / Joey Baron: Dream Dance

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Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi's music is often said to incorporate European classicism, suggesting seriousness and, perhaps, a staid erudition to those who haven't heard him.Pieranunzi has fronted a trio with bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joey Baron since 1984. While not a working band like Keith Jarrett's enduring Standards Trio, Pieranunzi's recordings and tours over the past quarter century have engendered a joyously telepathic interplay, running with the Bill Evans piano trio approach of three way equality.Pieranunzi's classicism is in full display throughout the disc, but that's not to suggest a cerebral or sedate affair. “The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Enrico Pieranunzi: Enrico Pieranunzi Plays Domenico Scarlatti

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Italian jazz pianist Enrico Pieranunzi uses a very liberal interpretation of the allegro notation when interpreting the tempi of several of the sonatas on Enrico Pieranunzi Plays Domenico Scarlatti. This is evident right off the bat with the opening Sonata in E Major, K. 531. Allegro is defined as “fast and bright." Okay: well, jack that “fast and bright" up to the amphetamine pace of “very fast and lively" (Vivacissimo) or “extremely fast" (Prestissimo) and that tempo description might approximate how fast Pieranunzi is playing. The speed is one thing. The other is the precision and accuracy with which he ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Enrico Pieranunzi / Marc Johnson / Joey Baron: Dream Dance

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Focusing on all-original material, pianist Enrico Pieranunzi's Dream Dance proves that when there's the right chemistry, a group can retain it throughout the years, even if reconvening only occasionally. While not a regular working unit like Keith Jarrett's enduring Standards Trio with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette, Pieranunzi's trio with bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joey Baron has been together almost as long. And while Jarrett continues to explore long-form interpretations of standards, Pieranunzi combines plenty of original music with the occasional standard and material from fellow Italians including Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota.

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Enrico Pieranunzi: As Never Before & Yellow and Blue Suites

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Among pianists working in the harmonic tradition of the late Bill Evans, Enrico Pieranunzi has achieved a rare individuality, bringing unrivaled senses of line and sheer sonority to the style. Along with the advanced harmonic language, the Italian pianist belongs to a native bel canto tradition that extends to classical pianists as brilliant as Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Maurizio Pollini and film composers like Nino Rota and Enrico Morricone. As leader of the Space Jazz Trio in the 1970s, he worked with some of the most lyrical musicians in jazz, including trumpeter Chet Baker and saxophonist Lee Konitz and that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Enrico Pieranunzi / Marc Johnson / Joey Baron, Featuring Kenny Wheeler: As Never Before

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Pianist Enrico Pieranunzi isn't the only artist influenced by Kenny Wheeler's classic Gnu High. It's a safe bet that the trumpeter's 1976 debut as a leader for ECM, featuring the perfect line-up of pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette, has been one of small group jazz's most influential albums of the past thirty years; as remarkable for Wheeler's inimitable writing as its unparalleled performances. Few, however, get the opportunity to recruit Wheeler in the same quartet context for an album perhaps lacking the “classic" stamp of Gnu High, but coming darn close. With seven Pieranunzi compositions ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Enrico Pieranunzi / Marc Johnson / Joey Baron: Live in Japan

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By no means a newcomer to the scene, Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi's star has only begun to rise significantly in North America in the past couple of years, with albums including the outstanding FelliniJazz (Cam Jazz, 2004) and Plays Morricone (Cam Jazz, 2005) finally more readily available. The double-disc Live in Japan, recorded in the spring of 2004, shortly ahead of the session for Ballads (Cam Jazz, 2006), captures the pianist once again in the company of bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joey Baron--occasional companions, if not an ongoing working group, since the turn of the century.

Pieranunzi's impressionistic romanticism ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Trio Magic: Live in Japan & Ballads

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Pianist Enrico Pieranunzi, bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joey Baron aren't really a regular working trio, but whenever they meet for a recording session or short tour, the gathering of these three musicians is a cause for celebration. They first worked together in 1984 after they were stranded in Rome after a tour was cancelled, with Pieranunzi being called in to do a pickup date with the Americans at Music Inn. Since then they have recorded a number of CDs together, as well as spending time on the road as a trio. Pieranunzi's lyrical style is clearly influenced by the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Enrico Pieranunzi / Marc Johnson / Joey Baron: Live in Japan

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I suspect that at least a gazillion electrons have been sacrificed to the obvious influence that Bill Evans had on Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi...and I am going to offer up a few million more. Pieranunzi is well-studied in the Evans musical method, even establishing a temporal connection to Evans through bassist Marc Johnson, who performed with Evans on the late pianists final monolithic sets, Last Waltz and Consecration.

Johnson has show up regularly in Pieranunzi's groups, documented on Untold Stories, Ballads, and Play Morricone. The latter of these employs drummer Joey Baron, collectively making up Pieranunzi's current trio performing on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Enrico Pieranunzi: Untold Story

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By my count, pianist Enrico Pieranunzi has, in the last couple of years, released no fewer than six records to critical acclaim ranging from ebullient to ecstatic: FelliniJazz (CamJazz, 2004), Les Amants (Egea, 2004), Special Encounter (CamJazz, 2005), Play Morricone (CamJazz, 2005), Live in Paris (Challenge, 2006), and Ballads (CamJazz, 2006). He even found the time to write a lovely book about his hero Bill Evans. Maybe some listeners find even this prodigious productivity to be insufficient. For their benefit, then, Egea is now issuing a series of previously unreleased sessions from the 1990s, including this date recorded in Paris ...



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