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Maurizio Minardi: Invisible

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Maurizio Minardi: Invisible
Success, if it is attained, comes quickly to only a small minority of musicians. Being in the right place at the right time is often a major factor. Others have a longer journey, one that involves a gradual refinement of their craft over a range of projects. It may take more time, but those experiences can be rewarding to the artist and to the listener. One artist who appears to be on such a journey is Italian composer, pianist and accordionist, Maurizio Minardi with his 14th album, Invisible.

Minardi's story is a fascinating one. He moved from Italy to London in 2008, where he lived for eight years. He is now resident in Paris. Whilst in Italy, he refined his jazz studies, working with Barry Harris, Enrico Rava and Paolo Fresu. He went on to compose music for seven albums involving electronic pop and jazz-tango. In London, his activities included recording My Piano Trio (Belfagor Label, 2012). He toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company and released an accordion quartet album, The Cook, the Clown, the Monk and the Accordionist (Belfagor Label, 2013). He also found time to open for Suzanne Vega and work with Melange. Since his move to Paris, he has worked with violinist Gabriel Bismut before focusing on this release. He is joined by the experienced pairing of bassist Maurizio Congiu (Paolo Fresu, Didier Lockwood) and drummer Thomas Delor (Eric Lewis, Noah Haidu).

Minardi's classical training is apparent in the gentle piano melody of the engaging opening track, "Promenade." Delor's drums are sharp and rapid and lead into an admirable bass solo from Congiu. Minardi creates a slightly wistful mood with his tone and masterly use of repetition. "Le Lendermain" builds gradually with slow piano phrases over brief scampering drums. Congiu entwines his bass notes around the piano as the track briefly builds then subsides. "Au Bord de l'Eau" is the ideal title. The music perfectly fits the idea of sitting at the water's edge. Congiu again shows his elasticity as a bassist, seemingly allowing the time to shift without losing the harmonic strands.

Minardi's style may bring to mind the film composer Yann Tiersen (Amélie, Hurricane). Michael Nyman is another key influence. They both share a love of brief, repeated phrases and pulses to set up an atmosphere. "Miroirs" is a good example; the pianist uses different repetitions to set up transient moods before Delor drives the pace with tight and rapid drumming. Elsewhere, "Femme Lunaire" and "Automne sur le Canal" contain inventive improvisation. "Berceuse" has an intermittent gentle melody with lyrical bass and "Madame B" intrigues with romantic fragments and pulse.

The long road that has led Minardi to this point has helped define the impressive quality of his compositions and playing. They span a range of styles but are firmly rooted in a strong classical foundation. He leaves space for Congiu and Delor, who both excel. The trio plays with a good spirit, creating moods that are frequently contemplative and given to reverie. An engaging album of contemporary piano trio expression that is well worth seeking out.

Track Listing

Promenade; Le Lendemain; Au bord de l'eau; Miroirs; Femme Lunaire; Berceuse; Automne sur le canal; Madame B.

Personnel

Album information

Title: Invisible | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Self Produced


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