Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

96

Stefano Travaglini: Ellipse

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
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.

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

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "The Best of Big Star" CD/LP/Track Review The Best of Big Star
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Into a Myth" CD/LP/Track Review Into a Myth
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "Triangulum" CD/LP/Track Review Triangulum
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 20, 2017
Read "The AV Club" CD/LP/Track Review The AV Club
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Feefifofum Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Feefifofum Quartet
by James Nadal
Published: July 9, 2017
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 6, 2017