169

Chick Corea / Stefano Bollani: Orvieto

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Chick Corea / Stefano Bollani: Orvieto Though Chick Corea and Stefano Bollani hail from opposite sides of the Atlantic they're kindred spirits in many ways. Two of jazz's more prolific musicians, both have explored music in any number of settings. Both embrace the roots and traditions of jazz yet refuse to be shackled. A love of Latin melodies is also common ground, but perhaps what binds them most are their boundless curiosity and an inherent desire to be at play. Corea recorded Play (Blue Note, 1992) with Bobby McFerrin and this could be Volume 2, as playfulness royally trumps virtuosity in dialogues imbued with joy.

"Orvieto Improvisation 1" opens this set with a wintery impressionism that's stark and melancholic. This mood carries over to the first couple of minutes of "Retato Em Branco E Preto," though gradually melodic lines emerge out of which a tango-ish rhythm asserts itself. Dancing right hands alternate, and when the rhythm subsides the pianists immerse themselves simultaneously, though with music-box delicacy.

"If I Should Lose You" is altogether livelier, and there's romanticism here and on "A Valsa de Paula" reminiscent of pianist Bill Evans. There are shades of Evans' Conversations with Myself (Verve, 1963) during the latter's hypnotizing interplay, though rarely do Corea and Bollani climb all over each other on Orvieto. Instead, the sensation throughout is of two kids for the most part happy to share the same toy.

"Doralice" is a playful romp, with only slight embellishment of the catchy melody, though Corea and Bollani slide in and out of unison lines and counterpoint in a short but fascinating section. Some of the most quietly exhilarating playing comes towards the end of Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz," with the pianists trading big, sweeping runs in the high keys.

The lack of reference to bop lends a bygone-era feel to the music on the whole, a throwback to days when stride, waltz and a more classical form of romance dominated jazz piano. There is more elegance than muscle on show, typified by the lovely "Este Seu Olhar" and the gentle interpretation of "Darn That Dream," which rarely sounds like more than one pair of hands are at work. Hand claps and piano-body percussion set "Tirititran" on its way, but this tune too settles into a fairly easy-listening groove, with occasional flourishes.

Corea's "Armando's Rhumba" breaks the mold, with bolder chords and more exuberant playing that is more Michel Camilo than Erroll Garner. Similarly, "Improvisation No. 2/Nardis" provides striking contrast; starting slowly, Corea and Bollani gradually move from the reflective mood of the intro into more frenetic terrain, punctuated by sharp exclamations. The final third of the improvisation has a folksy, Mediterranean core, around which the two pianists build robustly.

An old-time charm colors "Blues in F," and, in keeping with the recording as a whole, is more about feel than exhibitionism. Orvieto is an unpretentious and playful collaboration which makes for enjoyable listening, in keeping with the New Year celebrations at the Umbria Winter Jazz Festival ( where it was recorded); nor does it pretend to be anything else.

Track Listing: Orvieto Improvisation No. 1; Retrato Em Branco E Preto; If I Should Lose You; Doralice; Jitterbug Waltz; A Valsa Da Paula; Orvietio Improvisation No. 2 / Nardis; Este Seu Olhar; Darn That Dream; Tirititran; Armando's Rhumba; Blues in F.

Personnel: Chick Corea: piano; Stefano Bollani: piano.

Title: Orvieto | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: ECM Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Live" CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Confidences" CD/LP/Track Review Confidences
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9)" CD/LP/Track Review Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9)
by John Eyles
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Here on Earth" CD/LP/Track Review Here on Earth
by Doug Collette
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "A Cry For Peace" CD/LP/Track Review A Cry For Peace
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "On The Radio: BBC Sessions 1971" CD/LP/Track Review On The Radio: BBC Sessions 1971
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 6, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.