3

Enrico Pieranunzi: New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist Enrico Pieranunzi's latest offering, New Spring —Live At The Village Vanguard ties together, in different ways, two previous CAM Jazz releases. The most recent is the studio album Proximity featuring saxophonist Donny McCaslin (who also plays in the live album) in a bass-less quartet. The earlier album is Live At The Village Vanguard with drummer Paul Motian and bassist Marc Johnson, and is one of Motian's last recordings before his death.

Thus, New Spring, recorded over two nights in April, 2015 (in the 80th anniversary year of the club), closes a circle for Pieranunzi, who is the only Italian to have played three times as a leader at the Vanguard, while he continues to explore new vistas with American jazz musicians.

Needless to say, there is always something special about a well-recorded live jazz album, and this album most definitely has that exciting sense of participating in the in-the-moment creation of fantastic music, as audience applause can be heard after solos and the end of a tune.

These tunes are mostly originals by Pieranunzi, with one by bassist Scott Colley and one standard, "I Hear A Rhapsody" (see this version by John Coltrane on Lush Life (Prestige, 1961)), which is given a marvelously unorthodox treatment.

Pieranunzi's musical world embraces American jazz that is deeply colored by the lushness of Italian Romanticism along with tonalities and voicings of classical Impressionist composers channeled through his embrace of Bill Evans. Each track has a grand architectural feel with a good dose of drama added, while the structure of his tunes lend themselves to the extended treatment that fits naturally with the group.

Pieranunzi obviously likes McCaslin's tone, which is slightly on the acidic side and acts as a contrast to Pieranunzi's lushness. Within the structure of the tune, McCaslin plays with freedom and drive, which is supported and enhanced by Clarence Penn's dynamic drumming and Colley's pulsing, melodic base, but also by Pieranunzi always interesting accompaniment.

What is particularly interesting is that while this music is solidly in the mainstream, it sounds very fresh, and not a little experimental somehow. The quartet is extremely tight, playing as a unit, while each individual's part is clear and distinct, and yet the feel of taking chances is very strong.

New Spring rises above any stylistic labels, becoming "pure" jazz that is distinctly Pieranunzi and completely engrossing.

Track Listing: Amsterdam Avenue; New Spring; Out Of The Void; Permutation; Loveward; I Hear A Rhapsody; The Waver.

Personnel: Enrico Pieranunzi: piano; Donny McCaslin: tenor saxophone; Scott Colley: bass; Clarence Penn: drums.

Title: New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: CAM Jazz


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Déjà Vu CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Two in a Box CD/LP/Track Review Two in a Box
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Discussions CD/LP/Track Review Discussions
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Proximity" CD/LP/Track Review Proximity
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 7, 2016
Read "Eleven Cages" CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Rise Of Orion" CD/LP/Track Review Rise Of Orion
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "United" CD/LP/Track Review United
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "Harlem" CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "The Motorman's Son" CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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