220

Francesco Turrisi: Fotographia

Greg Simmons By

Sign in to view read count
Francesco Turrisi: Fotographia Encouraging experimentation is the lifeblood of jazz. It keeps the music vital and ensures that new voices get to have their say. The minute the music becomes a museum relic, played through a fixed, orthodox interpretation, is the moment it dies an ignominious death. Thank goodness, then, for musicians like pianist Francesco Turrisi, who embraces creative experimentation on Fotographia.

This collection of fifteen vignettes periodically employs bassist Claus Kaarsgaard and percussionist Joao Lobo. But for the most part, it's Turrisi's show. His approach has a graceful, classical sensibility to it, even when he's playing atonally. His light, refined touch conveys subtle purpose whether he's playing straight or far out.

The compositions and improvisations are derived from a variety of inspirations, including Pensierini, which are short children's essays—primary school assignments—that Turrisi uses conceptually as a musical exercise. These seven spontaneously improvised trio pieces, scattered throughout the album, are the freest, most avant works, but they also present a range of approaches. Two employ random plunking; one is a melancholy dirge, reminiscent of a Frederic Chopin Nocturne; another becomes a mechanical pattern of pianistic industrialism. Some are jarring and angular, and some are jewel-like in their petite splendor. The breadth of ideas presented within the concept is remarkable.

The other tracks on Fotographia are a mix of Italian traditional songs, Turrisi's own compositions, and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Luiza." The title track is a slow, spacious echo, employing silence around the notes, building slowly into a chord structure. "Pensierosa" is a melodic exploration of waving chords and arpeggios that presents an almost bucolic soundscape. It's a beautiful piece that showcases Turrisi's classical sensibility and lyrical composing abilities.

Fotographia can be a challenging record, but it can also be very rewarding. It's brilliance lies in the variety of its musical perspectives and techniques. Its accomplishment lies in taking those disparate elements and getting them to all hang together in a consolidated work. The delight in listening to it is the expectation that the next track will contain something really special, but not knowing what that is until it arrives.

Track Listing: Attaccati Li Tricci; Fotographia I; Pensierino I, in mille pezzi; Luiza; 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, il lago fantasma; Fotographia II; Pensierino VII, verso il basso; Attaccati Li Tricci II.

Personnel: Francesco Turrisi: piano; Claus Laarsgaard: bass; Joao Lobo: drums.

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


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Sonder CD/LP/Track Review Sonder
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Putting Off Death CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "By A Thread" CD/LP/Track Review By A Thread
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 18, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Jaco Pastorius" CD/LP/Track Review Jaco Pastorius
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Neko" CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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