147

Stefano Travaglini: Ellipse

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Stefano Travaglini: Ellipse
Italy's Stefano Travaglini—primarily a composer and pianist—is wildly diverse as an instrumentalist and composer. He has performed on oboe and bass guitar, studied with Estonian composer Arvo Part and American jazz and classical composer Vince Mendoza. Touring throughout four continents, Travaglini has demonstrated impressive proficiency in both jazz and classical genres though he is equally at home where categorizations aren't easily applied. A case in point is his debut album The Hungarian Songbook (Terre Sommerse, 2013); a collection of Eastern European and Gipsy folksongs arranged for voice and improvised piano.

Ellipse is a solo piano collection, recorded spontaneously, without edits or modifications. It can be classified as free improvisation but—as on the opening "The Importance of Fishing"—abstraction and lyricism coexist nicely. The 1928 song "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise" by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II was originally composed as a dance piece, but in most of its many jazz forms, has been greatly modified. Travaglini's interpretation is unique in its mix of staccato notes and nonlinear improvisation. "Monk's Mood" is also covered as the first part of a medley with Travaglini's own "Presences." The pianist treats Thelonius Monk with due respect even while occasionally infusing the ballad rendition with a more aggressive attitude. "Looking Back" and the closing piece, "Good Bye, for Now" are beautifully expressive and more structured.

Travaglini improvises as if having previously immersed his mind in a written version of the same piece. On Ellipse, the spontaneous creations, the melodies and passages, all hang together as if part of a well-planned narrative. Since he quotes the zen-like philosophy of Lee Konitz with "That's my way of preparation—to not be prepared" we can assume that the structures we hear are being developed in real time. Ellipse is a terrific solo piano recording; adventurous, but never over the top, and often quite beautiful.

Track Listing

The Importance of Fishing; Life; The Flowering Season; Persistence; Monk's Mood / Presences; Looking Back; Intermezzo; Softly, as in Morning Sunrise; Good Bye, for Now (Meditation).

Personnel

Stefano Travaglini: piano.

Album information

Title: Ellipse | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Notami Jazz

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Bernstein Reimagined
Bernstein Reimagined
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
Read Faune
Faune
Raphaël Pannier Quartet
Read En Casa Limon
En Casa Limon
David Broza
Read Freedom Fables
Freedom Fables
Nubiyan Twist
Read Auge
Auge
Aki Takase / Christian Weber / Michael Griener
Read Son Of Nyx
Son Of Nyx
Tamil Rogeon
Read Solo/Duo
Solo/Duo
Eli Wallace/Beth McDonald

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.