All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

111

Roberto Bonati Trio: Bianco il vestito nel buio

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Spending considerable time as Artistic Director of Italy's creative ParmaFrontiere— occurring in Parma each fall, a festival small in size but broad in scope—Roberto Bonati spends the rest of his time as a double bassist who, amongst other things, is one of Gianluigi Trovesi's top-calls, last heard with the Italian saxophonist/clarinetist's Ottetto on Fugace (ECM, 2003). Leading his own groups, more often than not Bonati writes for larger ensembles, specifically the ParmaFrontiere Orchestra that includes, amongst others, Siena-based pianist Stefano Battaglia. All of which makes Bianco il vestito nel buio such a welcome addition to Bonati's discography as a leader, an intimate trio date, live from ParmaFrontiere 2011, that's a significant contrast to his larger ensemble sessions. Pianist Alberto Tacchini (curiously, not well-known outside of Italy) joins Bonati, as does Roberto Dani, a busy drummer at home who, as a member of Battaglia's trio on two sublime ECM recordings— River of Anyder (2011) and Songways (2013)—is beginning to garner international visibility as well.

With a classical background clearly underscoring his improvisational approach, Bonati describes the formation of this trio "with the idea of looking at the trio format in a new perspective; considering the three musicians as soloists in a chamber trio." It's no surprise, then, that for the most part Bianco il vestito nel buio's seven Bonati compositions provide plenty of solo space—a cappella, in duo subsets and as a clearly cohesive trio. The music is often rubato, sometimes whisper quiet and, while possessed of gentle melodies that stay in the mind long after the performance, travels to more completely free terrain, albeit always with the unerring guidance of Bonati's structural roadmaps. Dani's work with Battaglia—like Bonati, a musician for whom free playing always possesses a sense of purpose—makes him an ideal foil here, while Tacchini's largely soft touch recalls American pianist Marc Copland but whose underlying approach comes, like Bonati, from a combination of classical upbringing, cultural concerns and hints of the American tradition so largely subsumed as to be less than discretely identifiable.

All of this and more is revealed in the opening "Tacea la notte placida," Tacchini beginning so quietly as to be barely audible; when Bonati and Dani enter, it's still pianissimo, but just as its core structure is revealed more forcefully, things quickly dissolve to a drum solo redolent of rich textural explorations and no small attention to melody. When the rest of the trio reenters, it's to reiterate Bonati's compositional foundation and, at the same time, interpret it freely. Bonati's pizzicato is warm, yet there's clear definition to his notes, irrespective of register. Elsewhere, his arco is equally appealing on "Miserere II," another composition covering substantial ground, from its strong thematic beginning to a freer midsection, where the trio turns as expressionistic as it ever gets, its tremendous dynamic control rendering even the smallest shift dramatic and meaningful.

Two years on, the clear chemistry of Bianco il vestito nel buio and Bonati's success in forming a chamber trio with multiple improvisational possibilities suggests a follow-up would be in order. As 2014 begins with a new Bonati recording planned, one can only hope.

Track Listing: Tacea la notte placida; Miserere II; End of March; Settembre; Blanco il vestito nel buio; Early Morning; Lacrymosa.

Personnel: Alberto Tacchini: piano; Robert Bonati: acoustic bass; Roberto Dani: drums.

Title: Bianco il vestito nel buio | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Parmafrontiere

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Humanities CD/LP/Track Review
Humanities
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Wild Is The Wind CD/LP/Track Review
Wild Is The Wind
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review
Fairytales
by Gareth Thompson
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Origins CD/LP/Track Review
Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "UpRoot" CD/LP/Track Review UpRoot
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 2, 2017
Read "Malnoia" CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "In This Together" CD/LP/Track Review In This Together
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 28, 2018
Read "Change Of Address" CD/LP/Track Review Change Of Address
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 6, 2017
Read "In-House Science" CD/LP/Track Review In-House Science
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 9, 2018
Read "Landfall" CD/LP/Track Review Landfall
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 14, 2018