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...

168

Francesco Turrisi: Fotografia

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
It would be simplistic to call pianist Francesco Turrisi an experimenter, though his music embraces myriad cultural influences, from his native Italy through the length and breadth of the Mediterranean, straddling the centuries, and imbibing from sources as diverse as baroque, Moorish airs and jazz; simplistic, because his music flows as naturally as a river follows its bed—it is in Turrisi and of him, and it guides him. As on Turrisi's memorable debut, Si Dolce e il Tormento (Diatribe, 2009), there is no sense of striving to fuse, no sense of painstaking construction; on Fotografia, there is instead, a very natural sounding confluence of ideas and emotions.

Though Fotografia shares the same neo-classical, folk-tinged, fringes-of-jazz adventurism of Turrisi's debut, it's a darker, more impressionistic offering, and seemingly more conceptual as a whole. Inspired by the Italian tradition of encouraging children to sketch pensierini—little thoughts—Turrisi creates sonic edifices around various themes, sympathetically and intuitively supported by drummer João Lobo and acoustic bassist Claus Kaarsgaard. The titles—"I Am The Shadow Man," "Remorse," "A Thousand Pieces," "Ants," "Towards the Depths"—are suggestive of the sometimes somber impressionism in these vignettes, though lyricism of aching beauty lies embedded throughout Fotografia.

Seven pensierini run from the ten-second fractural idiosyncrasy of "Pensierino 1, in mille pezze," to the strangely weightless "Pensierino 7, verso il basso," which features Turrisi on piano innards and beautiful bass figures from Kaarsgaard. In between, there are dramatic chords, moody arco and tinkling percussion on the vaguely sinister "Pensierino 2, Sono l'uomo ombra" and the melancholy of "Pensierino 3, rimorso," with Lobo's slow walking bass suggesting sad self-absorption. Turris's rapid, repeated motif on "Pensierino 4, formicai" conveys the head-down relentlessness of an ant on a mission, whereas "Pensierino 5, scarabocchio" has a start-stop, scurrying quality. Pensierino 6, il lago fantasma" holds a serene yet ghostly ambience in its baroque frame.

Rather than string these pensierini together in a continuous suite, Turrisi breaks them up with short flights of lyrical imagination. Solo piano "Fotografia 1" exudes contemplative stillness, though it's not without an absorbing energy. There's more of a narrative to "Fotografia 2," with its Mediterranean blues, and it's somehow old and modern simultaneously. A folksy rendition of "Luiza" captures Antonio Carlos Jobim's blues vein, with Turrisi's sparingly used left hand resting altogether. "Pensierosa (for Helen) hovers between meditative and classically grand, and the undeniably moving "Lachrimae" has the uncommon beauty of a Beethoven Piano Sonata—though, again, it is essentially a haunting blues.

At the midpoint, and bookending these reflective pieces, are three traditional Italian compositions inspired by singer Pino de Vittorio's interpretations. Kaarsgaard's brooding arco is protagonist on the first half of "Alla Caprinese," which moves from dark to light as Turrisi's feathery lyricism illuminates the piece. "Attaccati li Tricci" I & II highlight Turrisi's lovely, tumbling Arabesque lines, and penchant for conjuring with simple melodies.

Less immediately accessible than Turrisi's first CD, Fotographia, is, nevertheless, totally absorbing and points to an artist who refuses to stand still. The shading, nuance and emotional depth make for a captivating journey.

Track Listing: Attaccati li Tricci; Fotographia I; Pensierino I, in mille pezze; Luzia; Pensierino II, sono l'uomo ombra; Pensierosa (for Helen); Pensierino III, rimorso; Alla Carpinese; Pensierino IV, formicai; Lachrimae (for my father); Pensierino V, scarabocchio; Pensierino VI, ill ago fantasma; Fotografia II; Pensierino VII, verso il basso; Attaccato li Tricci II.

Personnel: Francesco Turrisi: piano; Claus Kaarsgaard: bass; João Lobo: drums.

Title: Fotografia | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Diatribe Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Attaccati li Tricci

Attaccati li Tricci

Francesco Turrisi
Fotografia

CD/LP/Track Review
Book Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Read more articles
Northern Migrations

Northern Migrations

Taquin Records
2018

buy
Grigio

Grigio

Diatribe Records
2014

buy
Grigio

Grigio

Diatribe Records
2013

buy
Songs of Experience

Songs of Experience

Taquin Records
2013

buy
 

Fotografia

Polystar / Libra
2012

buy
Fotographia

Fotographia

Diatribe Records
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Never Bet The Devil Your Head CD/LP/Track Review
Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Plus One CD/LP/Track Review
Plus One
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read "Donora Autumn" CD/LP/Track Review Donora Autumn
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "async Remodels" CD/LP/Track Review async Remodels
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "Pekka" CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Live At The Magic Triangle" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Magic Triangle
by John Sharpe
Published: January 13, 2018
Read "Radiant Imprints" CD/LP/Track Review Radiant Imprints
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 8, 2018