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...

36

Stefano Travaglini: Ellipse

Matt Hooke By

Sign in to view read count
Italian pianist Stefano Travaglini's Ellipse is a masterwork of improvised music. The recordings is the result of a single one-hour long unedited session at Oslo's Rainbow Studio. Travaglini's playing is beautiful and measured featuring a brilliant use of negative space. Travaglini is not interested in wowing the listener with flashy rapid-fire piano lines. Instead, he opts for a subtle charm. His playing is soft and delicate. His delicate style should not be mistaken for being frivolous. Ellipse would not be welcome in a hotel elevator, or a new-age yoga studio, it is too adventurous to be regulated to the background. Travaglini keeps a steady rhythm in his left hand at many points throughout the album keeping it grounded preventing it from becoming a formless work. Although the album is entirely improvised, it sounds thoroughly structured. "Persistence" is the best example of this attitude. The song starts off quietly with a single note, repeating over and over again. Travaglini slowly adds melody and harmony to the ostinato, before moving the ostinato to a different lower pitched tone. He repeats the process with this new tone. However, this second improvisation is more chord based than his previous one. At 3:35 Travaglini briefly abandons the repetitive rhythm in exchange for a couple chord changes, but then quickly returns to the phrase. The rest of the piece features Travaglini freely moving between chordal sections and sections based on the previous ostinato. These changes create a beautiful sense of motion throughout the piece that keeps the listener focused. The two covers on the album fit Travaglini's style well. "Softly, as in Morning Sunrise," originally written by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein, for the 1928 operetta The New Moon, features a great walking bass line to accompany the pianist's melodic lines. Travaglini takes on a more aggressive attitude for his version of "Monk's Mood," which he melds with his original piece "Presences." This change of tone works well for Travaglini, and the two pieces' blend well together. "Life" is a striking ballad, Travaglini throws in several dissonant chords but they resolve nicely. He also showcases his technical abilities with some fast-paced piano runs. Overall Travaglini's ear for melody, especially in an improvised setting, is astounding. This melodic ear and Travaglini's sense of pace makes Ellipse" one of the best improvised works of 2017. A beautiful and adventurous recording.

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

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Ellipse

Ellipse

Notami Jazz
2017

buy
The Hungarian Songbook

The Hungarian Songbook

Terre Sommerse
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Fearless And Kind CD/LP/Track Review
Fearless And Kind
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Any Day Now CD/LP/Track Review
Any Day Now
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Adrift CD/LP/Track Review
Adrift
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Folkjazz from Finland CD/LP/Track Review
Folkjazz from Finland
by Anthony Shaw
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read "Still Dreaming" CD/LP/Track Review Still Dreaming
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 24, 2018
Read "Journey Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Journey Moments
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 8, 2018
Read "Pacific Northwest '73-'74: Believe It If You Need It" CD/LP/Track Review Pacific Northwest '73-'74: Believe It If You Need...
by Doug Collette
Published: October 7, 2018
Read "Dodecahedron" CD/LP/Track Review Dodecahedron
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 21, 2018
Read "Kiss Your Darlings" CD/LP/Track Review Kiss Your Darlings
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 27, 2018
Read "Slow Learner" CD/LP/Track Review Slow Learner
by John Sharpe
Published: December 7, 2017