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Album Review

Alberto Braida: Cats In The Kitchen

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Alberto Braida: Cats In The Kitchen
Cats In The Kitchen by the trio of Alberto Braida, Silvia Bolognesi, and Cristiano Calcagnile is the embodiment of la sprezzatura, an Italian expression that has no equivalent in English but roughly translates as doing something extremely well without showing that it took any effort. The nine compositions penned by Braida, an accomplished pianist whose recent releases include From Here From There (We Insist! Records, 2021), a bewitching duo with Giancarlo Nino Locatelli, were inspired by a drawing his young daughter made. Like the simple artwork, these compositions are childlike and wide-eyed. But to paraphrase the Old Testament, "from the mouth of babes, comes strength and wisdom."

Silvia Bolognesi has performed with Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Butch Morris, in Hear In Now with Tomeka Reid and Mazz Swift, and with every significant Italian jazz artist. Cristiano Calcagnile with (Anthony Braxton, Multikulti Ensemble, Trio Pipeline and Rob Mazurek).

Circling back to that sprezzatura feeling is simpleness. This music is comparable to the ingenuous compositions of Thelonious Monk, evident from the opener "Hiking" and "Dedalus," which conceal erudition in an outward absence of complication. Braida, like Monk, utilizes notes sparingly, but those chosen complete his concepts. Within that concept, Braida conjures the music of Bill Evans with Olivier Proust and "Un Po In Certo" (A Little Sure). Think "A Waltz For Debby" and you have an inkling of the uncomplicated elegance of these pieces. Like Evans' trio, Braida has two expressive and eloquent bandmates. Bolognesi's bass sings throughout and Calcagnile's drums (check his solo on "La Giostra") accent without overwhelming the affair. One more pianist comes to mind here. You might mistake "Cane e Gatto" for a piece by Herbie Nichols with it's joyous jocundity. In other words, childlike wisdom.

Track Listing

Hiking; Proust; La Giostra; Cane e Gatto; Cerchio; Dedalus; Campanile; Un Po In Certo; Marcia.

Personnel

Alberto Braida: piano; Silvia Bolognesi: bass, acoustic; Cristiano Calcagnile: drums.

Album information

Title: Cats In The Kitchen | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: We Insist! Records

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