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Augusto Pirodda, with Paul Motian and Gary Peacock - No Comment (2011)


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Pianist Augusto Pirodda, on his fifth long player, plays with the melodic, insinuating sensitivity that belies his brief recording career.

In fact, No Comment, put to tape in 2009 but just out on the German label Jazzwerkstatt, is often off-handedly bold in that way. The opener, “It Begins Like This," is actually the initial soundcheck performed with drummer Paul Motian and bassist Gary Peacock.

They seem to have quickly settled, unbidden, into symbiotic roles. Pirodda's “So?" finds the pianist slowly but surely working his way into an intertwined moment of closure with Peacock. “Brrribop!!!" bubbles its way into an eruptive storm. “Ola" transforms from a sweet immediacy into a darkly swinging blues.

On first blush, it's easy to praise Pirodda for simply holding his own as a composer/pianist in the midst of two modern jazz legends. Expect that they actually seem emboldened by his presence.

Motian, since his days in the sweepingly influential (if sadly short lived) Bill Evans Trio, has typically preferred to play with similarly constructed musical amalgams—that is, those that blend the delicately orthodox with the sympathetically atonal. Same here, as Motian continues to employ a remarkable range of movement, sounding at times folksy and at others stirringly angular.

Peacock, meanwhile, shows all of the poise and concentration of the youngster who once studied macrobiotics. He's always seemed most comfortable in the graying middle ground between jazz's bright, white formality and its black-night abstractions—another clue, perhaps, as to why No Comment falls so quickly into place.

Together, they've created something that belies the album's title. Here's hoping more people not only comment on Pirodda's new one, but shout about it from on high.

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