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Recorded at the Teatro Lauro Rossi in Macerata and mixed at La Casa del Jazz in Rome, this disc by pianist Stefano Bollani is the ninth of a series of live recordings dedicated to the best of Italian jazz from the Italian magazine L'Espresso. Bollani, a musician, writer and semi-stand up comedian, is at his peak. Only last year, he was named Musician of the Year by Musica Magazine and his ECM CD Piano Solo was awarded Record of the Year.
The full Bollani experience, though, comes when he's on stage, mostly because of his Puck-like spirit whenever there is a piano and an audience. The CD features Bollani in trio with Ares Tavolazzi (bass) and Walter Paoli (drums). The opening piece is the bossa nova-like Bollani original "Eravamo un manipolo di eroi. Here the musicians brilliantly create an embroidery of notes, with the light colors being darkened by the instruments exchanging roles continuously. Also included are other original tunes: "Elena e il suo violino, a ballad he often plays solo, and "Logorio della vita moderna, a tenser piece with a smooth piano release. In "Morph the Cat, a composition by Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, Bollani is the blue cat that appears in different corners of Manhattan. "La puerta, "All The Things You Are, "Moonlight Serenade and "Puttin' on the Ritz are all transformed through Bollani's original touch. The CD closes with a typical Bollani signature: imitating the voices and the musical peculiarities of his colleagues. In "Copacabana he's a perfect Paolo Conte. As Bollani states, "Even Paolo Conte thought it was himself playing. The final jokeunderstandable only to the Italian speaking crowdrefers to the length of the piece: "This piece lasts 27 more minutes, if you applaud now, we can end it here.
Track Listing: Eravamo un manipolo di eroi; Elena e il suo violino; Morph the Cat; La puerta; Logorio della vita moderne; All The Things You Are; Moonlight Serenade; Puttin' on the Ritz; Copacabana.
Personnel: Stefano Bollani: piano; Ares Tavolazzi: bass; Walter Paoli: drums.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.