6

Leo Blanco: Pianoforte

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Pianoforte | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "E.S.T. Symphony" CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 26, 2017
Read "Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin" CD/LP/Track Review Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin
by Doug Collette
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "Gledalec" CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Waller" CD/LP/Track Review Waller
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Vit" CD/LP/Track Review Vit
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 1, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.