Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

24

Stefano Battaglia: Pelagos

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Stefano Battaglia has a ten-plus year history on the ECM label where he has covered much ground in terms of formations, style and genre. The effort has not always paid off. His label debut Raccolto (2005) was a meandering affair that squandered the opportunities that come with two-discs of music. All of Battaglia's considerable talents were on display, they just didn't quite find a landing site. The pianist's follow up Re: Pasolini (2007) was the beginning of a developmental breakthrough; aspirational in its scope, it began to bring Battaglia's disparate interests into greater focus. With each additional ECM album Battaglia's work became more intriguing and, in particular, his trio formation with bassist Salvatore Maiore and drummer Roberto Dani. The traditional rhythm section allowed the non-traditional pianist to shine on The River of Anyder (2011), Songways (2012) and In the Morning (2015).

Pelagos returns to Battaglia's earlier ECM double-disc presentations and is the pianist's first solo recording. The music is all composed or improvised by Battaglia with the exception of a traditional Arab piece "Lamma Bada Yatathanna" which appears in two versions. The initial thirty minutes of the first disc encompass "Destino," the title track, "Migralia" and the first version of "Lamma Bada Yatathanna." These tracks alone are so staggeringly beautiful that they are worth the price of admission. Each reflects Battaglia's classical background, but they fall into no particular category. The mood is temporarily broken by the tonal experimentation of "Processional" and the prepared piano abstraction of "Dogon."

Disc 2 is a bit spottier in terms of consistency, opening with the minimalist "Lampedusa" and followed by "Hora Mundi," featuring a mash-up of torrential notes, rests and tranquil passages. Battaglia then returns to a more meditative mood with the second version of "Lamma Bada Yatathanna" and "Exilium" though the latter piece ends unexpectedly—and somewhat jarringly—with more prepared piano. After a bit more experimentation on "Heron," the second disc ends tranquilly with "Brenner Toccata."

Much of Pelagos is profoundly good and it is certainly the best work Battaglia has created to date. His fully improvised pieces have a composed feeling about them that is reminiscent of Keith Jarrett's best solo work. When he leaves those classically informed pieces for the outlands it can be frustrating, not because of the music, but its disconcerting placement. Some may wish that Battaglia had dedicated each disc by style as he had done on Raccolto. That said, Pelagos contains much beautiful and highly recommended music.

Track Listing:
CD 1:
Destino; Pelagos; Migralia; Lamma Bada Yatathanna; Processional; Halap; Dogon; Life.
CD 2:
Lampedusa; Hora Mundi; Lamma Bada Yatathanna (var.); Exilium; Migration Mantra; Horgos e Roszke; Ufratu; Heron; Brenner Toccata.

Personnel: Stefano Battaglia: piano and prepared piano.

Title: Pelagos | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Live Reviews
Book Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Pelagos

Pelagos

ECM Records
2017

buy
Bartleby The Scrivener

Bartleby The Scrivener

Evil Rabbit Records
2016

buy
In The Morning

In The Morning

ECM Records
2015

buy
In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Self Produced
2015

buy
Horo

Horo

Abeat Records
2014

buy
Anything Your Little Heart Says

Anything Your Little...

Parco Della Musica
2014

buy

Related Articles

Read Everything's OK CD/LP/Track Review
Everything's OK
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones Pridefully, Idiotically, Prosaically CD/LP/Track Review
Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones...
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Legacy CD/LP/Track Review
Legacy
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Other Life Forms CD/LP/Track Review
Other Life Forms
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Live At Moods CD/LP/Track Review
Live At Moods
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Runner in the Rain CD/LP/Track Review
Runner in the Rain
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 15, 2018
Read "We Two" CD/LP/Track Review We Two
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 9, 2018
Read "Adrift" CD/LP/Track Review Adrift
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2018
Read "Songs of Experience: Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Songs of Experience: Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: February 10, 2018
Read "Cosmological Horizons" CD/LP/Track Review Cosmological Horizons
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 6, 2018
Read "Head Above Tide" CD/LP/Track Review Head Above Tide
by Paul Naser
Published: April 28, 2018
Read "Kinship" CD/LP/Track Review Kinship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2018