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Stefano Bollani: Que Bom

Read "Que Bom" reviewed by Matt Hooke

The worlds of Italian and Brazilian music meet on Que Bom, pianist Stefano Bollani's masterful 43rd album. Bollani lets his songwriting do the brunt of the work, leading to an accessible project, that still shimmers with inventive moments. Bollani has a keen melodic sense that makes these songs immediately come alive. The opening song, “Sbucata da Una Nuvola," is a beautiful display of Bollani's talents with a two-part melody that begins with quick single notes before moving to chord changes ...

IN PICTURES

Stefano Bollani at Asti Musica 2017

Read "Stefano Bollani at Asti Musica 2017" reviewed by Nicola Sacco

The 22nd edition of Astimusica featured a solo piano concert by Stefano Bollani. More than a traditional piano concert, his “one man show" with no playlist was a tribute to the art of improvisation. Covering Bach to the Beatles, from Stravinsky to Brazilian rhythms, with sudden incursions into pop or in the Italian repertoire, it was a flow of musical consciousness, humor, and emotion. Keeping with the spirit of the concert, the audience requested the encore songs with Bollani presenting ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Stefano Bollani: Joy in Spite of Everything

Read "Joy in Spite of Everything" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Like a kind of musical contortionist, Stefano Bollani keeps repositioning himself with eye-popping ease. The diversity and eclecticism of Bollani's projects are reflected in the sweeping breadth of his vocabulary; his output as leader on ECM alone, since his debut Piano Solo (ECM, 2006), is indicative of his adventurous spirit. That solo outing was followed by Orvieto (ECM, 2011), a joyous duologue with Chick Corea, whereas the exhilarating O Que Sera (ECM, 2013) coupled the Italian with Brazilian bandolim player ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Stefano Bollani: Joy in Spite of Everything

Read "Stefano Bollani: Joy in Spite of Everything" reviewed by John Kelman

Anyone who's had the pleasure of watching pianist Stefano Bollani in concert--whether it's in duo with fellow Italian, trumpter Enrico Rava, at the 2009 TD Ottawa Jazz Festival; in the trumpeter's New York Days quintet at the ECM 40th Anniversary celebration, part of the 2010 Enjoy Jazz Festival; or in one of his own various contexts (solo, trio, large ensemble)--knows that, above all, joy is fundamental to the music he makes. Sometimes it's blatantly obvious, as on his 2013 duo ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Stefano Bollani: Joy in Spite of Everything

Read "Joy in Spite of Everything" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Largely unacquainted as a unit, the quintet that formed around Italian pianist Stefano Bollani for Joy in Spite of Everything connects with the empathetic familiarity of a long-standing group. The leader--a professional pianist since the age of fifteen--has crossed over most every genre from classical to avant-garde and with equal proficiency. While his early encounters with fellow Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava set him a course for jazz, he has sharpened those skills in the diverse company of saxophonists Gato Barbieri ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Stefano Bollani / Hamilton de Holanda: O que sera

Read "O que sera" reviewed by John Kelman

Intentional or not, ECM's simultaneously release of Iranian kamencheh master Kayhan Kalhor and Turkish baglama expert Erdal Erzincan's Kula Kulluk Yakişir Mi (2013) with O que será, which captures a positively electrifying 2012 performance by efferverscent Italian pianist Stefano Bollani and Brazilian bandolim virtuoso Hamilton de Holanda, does more than merely celebrate the intimate potential of the duo. Variants, they may be, but there are also timbral similarities between de Holanda's bandolim (mandolin) and Erzincan's baglama (saz) in their use ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Stefano Bollani / Hamilton de Holanda: O que sera

Read "Stefano Bollani / Hamilton de Holanda: O que sera" reviewed by Ian Patterson

There's a relative paucity of piano and guitar duo recordings; Bill Evans and Jim Hall in the world of jazz, Horacio Salgán and the late Ubaldo de Lio in the world of tango, and Pamela and Robert Trent in the classical world are notable exceptions. When it comes to crossover, jazz pianist Michel Camilo and flamenco guitarist Tomatito's collaborations Spain (Verve, 2000) and Spain Again (Decca Music Group, 2006) set the bar high with their exhilarating blend of Afro-Caribbean, tango, ...

INTERVIEWS

Stefano Bollani: And Now For Something Completely Different

Read "Stefano Bollani: And Now For Something Completely Different" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Impersonating singer Paolo Conte and other Italian cultural icons comes as naturally to pianist Stefano Bollani as interpreting the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Michael Jackson, Brian Wilson, or Maurice Ravel--or indeed, writing novels. To say that Bollani is multitalented is a bit like saying Art Tatum could play the piano a bit. Oh, and Bollani plays the piano a bit like Art Tatum, when he's of a mind. However, as Orvieto (ECM, 2011) --a live recording with pianist Chick ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Stefano Bollani / Jesper Bodilsen / Morten Lund: Stone In The Water

Read "Stone In The Water" reviewed by Mark Corroto

There is a conversational thread that runs throughout the trio recording by Italian pianist Stefano Bollani and his Danish trio with bassist Jesper Bodilsen and drummer Morten Lund. Since that colloquia is produced by ECM's Manfred Eicher, the tone is hushed, but the exchange is discerning and intelligent.

Bollani's previous disc for ECM was Piano Solo (2007), and he also can be found working with Enrico Rava on a number of the trumpeter's discs, also for ECM, including ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Stefano Bollani / Jesper Bodilsen / Morten Lund: Stone In The Water

Read "Stone In The Water" reviewed by John Kelman

Serendipity can be a wonderful thing. Invited to perform with 2002 JazzPar prize-winner, trumpeter Enrico Rava, pianist and fellow Italian Stefano Bollani first encountered bassist Jesper Bodilsen and drummer Morten Lund when they were proposed as the rhythm section for the Danish award show and a brief tour. The chemistry was on such a deep level that Bollani, Bodilsen, and Lund decided to continue as a trio. Seven years and two albums on the Danish Stunt label later, Stone In ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Stefano Bollani: Carioca

Read "Carioca" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Since saxophonist Stan Getz and guitarist Charlie Byrd embraced Brazilian music in the early '60s, the world has come to know and love the gentle sway of bossa nova. Its most outstanding exponents, Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim, inspired, and will doubtless continue to inspire myriad artists to borrow from their songbooks. The problem is, we can't seem to get past Gilberto and Jobim. Canta Brazil (Polygram Records, 1990) and the series beginning with Blue Brazil (Blue ...

PROFILES

Stefano Bollani

Read "Stefano Bollani" reviewed by Celeste Sunderland

In December, 2007 Italian pianist Stefano Bollani got the chance to play in one of Rio de Janeiro's poorest places, the favela. For most, performing in such a dreary locale would not be so pleasant, but for Bollani it was extraordinary. “They never have concerts there," he explained. “It's the poorest place on Earth and there was a stage with a grand piano and playing my music in front of these people was amazing. They were incredible, saying, “Here is ...


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