218

Enrico Pieranunzi & Paul Motian: Doorways

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Another landmark album in the long and distinguished careers of Enrico Pieranunzi and Paul Motian, Doorways is one hour of sumptuous and transcendentally beautiful music fashioned with the simplest tools—a piano and a drum kit (and on three tracks only, a saxophone). Simultaneously lyrical and percussive, rhapsodic and vigorous, it speaks equally to the emotions and the intellect and conjures up a bigger cosmos than you would think possible from such a restricted palette.

Along with Pieranunzi's and Motian's individual artistry, the reason the set succeeds so brilliantly is the extraordinary degree of empathy—at times bordering on the telepathic—which they each bring to the occasion. It helps too that all three musicians were already pretty well known to each other before the sessions (in Rome, over three days in December '02). Pieranunzi and Motian first recorded together as a duo in '92, on what became the live set Flux & Change, and guest saxophonist Chris Potter has recorded regularly with Motian since the late '90s.

Although this is primarily Pieranunzi's album—he wrote all the material except for the three totally improvised "Double Excursions"—Motian's contribution is immense. Eschewing motor rhythms entirely, he instead drives the music forward with a stream of asymmetrical, neo-melodic snare drum and cymbal patterns, underpinned with subtle bass drum and tom-tom accents. From the achingly beautiful melodicism of "Suspension Points" and "Words Of The Sea" through to the more edgy "Utre" and "Double Excursion 3," he is Pieranunzi's dream partner here.

Potter excels himself too, absolutely holding his own with his two elder statesmen colleagues. The age range of the trio is remarkable: at the time of recording Motian was 72 and Pieranunzi 54 and Potter just 33—and while Potter has no monopoly on energy and fecundity here, neither do Pieranunzi and Motian have one on maturity and depth. The saxophonist's solo on the spacey, noir -ish "Doorways" is a highlight of the album, as is his fearless "outside" work on "Anecdote," where he creates a bracing sonic whirlwind reminiscent of David S. Ware.

Gripping, thrillingly inventive stuff from start to finish.


Track Listing: Double Excursion 1; Double Excursion 2; Doorways; No Waltz For Paul; Utre; Blue Evening; Anecdote; Suspension Points; Double Excursion 3; Words Of The Sea; The Shifting Scene; The Heart Of A Child; Utre (alternative version).

Personnel: Enrico Pieranunzi, piano; Paul Motian, drums; Chris Potter, tenor and soprano saxophones on "Doorways", "Anecdote" and "The Heart Of A Child."

Title: Doorways | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: CAM Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Wobbly Danse Flower CD/LP/Track Review Wobbly Danse Flower
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Carry Fire CD/LP/Track Review Carry Fire
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 22, 2017
Read A Night Walking Through Mirrors CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Barry Witherden
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jondo CD/LP/Track Review Jondo
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "Luisa" CD/LP/Track Review Luisa
by Doug Collette
Published: July 1, 2017
Read "Better By Far" CD/LP/Track Review Better By Far
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Alom Mola" CD/LP/Track Review Alom Mola
by John Eyles
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "The Behemoth" CD/LP/Track Review The Behemoth
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Trickster" CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Duopoly" CD/LP/Track Review Duopoly
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 26, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.