6

Leo Blanco: Pianoforte

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Leo Blanco: Pianoforte The title of Leo Blanco's third album, Pianoforte, makes it clear: this is just one man and one piano. But it's an exceptional instrument, played by an exceptional musician.

Blanco's 2009 album Africa Latina (Ayva Musica) and 2004's self-produced Roots & Effect featured international ensembles including guitarist Lionel Loueke, bassist Peter Slavov, saxophonist Dave Liebman and drummer Antonio Sanchez. Alone on stage, bereft of the support of these talented artists, Blanco shows no sign of hesitancy or lack of confidence. His playing flows gracefully, his improvisations retaining the same highly-focused melodic sense displayed in his more tightly written tunes.

Pianoforte was recorded over two nights at the Teatro Cesar Rengifo in Mérida, Blanco's Venezuelan hometown. One night was kept private, and on the other he played in front of an audience—some of each performance is captured here. The sound from both nights is exceptionally clear; each nuance of Blanco's playing is apparent.

All of the compositions are by Blanco, with the exception of Simon Diaz's "Tonada del Cabrestero," which Blanco plays with great finesse. Some of these tunes have appeared on Blanco's previous releases—"Peru Lando" is on Africa Latina; "Roots & Effect," "Dancers" and "Light Over Dark" are all on Roots & Effect. On Pianoforte Blanco gives each tune space and tranquility, room to reveal some of their more subtle and melancholy qualities. "Improvisation I" is particularly impressive—a ten-minute piece that's full of romance and warmth, shifting from dramatic, percussive sections through sparkling arpeggios to what sounds briefly like Blanco's take on The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby."

"Haiku For Midnight Bells And Piano" is brief but beautiful. Blanco's sparse and considered response to the sound of nearby church bells chiming the witching hour creates a "duet" between the bells and the piano that delightfully draws the album to its close.


Track Listing: Vals #5; Peru Lando; Tonada del Cabrestero; Dancers; Improvisation I; Interludio; Desiguales; Light Over Dark; Improvisation II; Roots & Effect; Haiku For Midnight Bells And Piano.

Personnel: Leo Blanco: piano.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Light Shines In" CD/LP/Track Review Light Shines In
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Like a Bird or Spirit, not a Face" CD/LP/Track Review Like a Bird or Spirit, not a Face
by John Eyles
Published: March 4, 2016
Read "Guess Who I Saw Today" CD/LP/Track Review Guess Who I Saw Today
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 14, 2016
Read "Antenna" CD/LP/Track Review Antenna
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Hearts & Minds" CD/LP/Track Review Hearts & Minds
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 22, 2016
Read "Protean Reality" CD/LP/Track Review Protean Reality
by John Sharpe
Published: June 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!