Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Gianni Lenoci / Kent Carter / Bill Elgart: Plaything


Gianni Lenoci / Kent Carter / Bill Elgart: Plaything


Sign in to view read count
Gianni Lenoci / Kent Carter / Bill Elgart: Plaything
Italian pianist Gianni Lenoci forms one apex of a trio with almost unlimited collective nous on Plaything. There are main two reasons for that: Kent Carter on bass and Bill Elgart on drums, both veterans of the 1964 October Revolution in Jazz, who have since carved niches for themselves in Europe. Carter 's early exposure arrived as part of a trio with pianist Paul Bley, though he may still be best known for his tenure in the groups of saxophonist Steve Lacy from 1965 through to 1982. Elgart also featured with Bley, and later took sideman gigs with trumpeters Kenny Wheeler and Tomasz Stańko among others. Lenoci himself studied with Bley and also pianist Mal Waldron.

Perhaps not surprising then that the trio operates in that sphere of which the Canadian is the most celebrated denizen which combines freewheeling invention with romantic rumination. In an equilateral triangle of highly attuned interplay, no one point dominates. Lenoci covers all the bases being variously lyrical, bluesy and adventurous with piano preparations. Elgart generates a buoyant intermittent swing, which veers into commentary in his clattering and tapping momentum. His attention to detail is fabulous as his choices of pitch and timbre always seem exactly right. Carter meanwhile excels in melodic counterpoint to the pianist's musings.

Their's convinces as a quirky take on the traditional piano trio format in which the charts remain mysterious and understated. That's especially the case for Carter's title cut in which the darkly rolling tune comes interspersed with silence and abstract noise, before a passage of open fluid give and take which gradually references the thematic material. Five of the seven numbers on this limited edition LP stem from Lenoci's pen. Of these the choppy "Splinter" boasts the only obvious solo of the set, as Elgart delivers a precise drum outing, amid the tension which comes from three not quite meshing lines.

In a change of pace, the improv approach comes to the fore on the colloquy of sparse sounds and creaking interjections which fashion "Leeway." Carter shines on the ballads. His sighing bass serenades first Lenoci then Elgart on the luminous "Contusion." Then on the drummer's closing "Drift" his booming slurs presage a marvelous interchange with the pianist. In fact the set overflows with accomplished and meaningful interaction with richness to savor at every level.

Track Listing

Plaything; Splinter; Contusion; Spider Diagram; Leeway; Kretek; Drift.


Gianni Lenoci: piano; Kent Carter: bass; Bill Elgart: drums.

Album information

Title: Plaything | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records



For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



September Night
Tomasz Stańko
A Different Light
Carl Clements
Cubop Lives!
Zaccai Curtis
Beautiful Moons Ago
The Gabrielle Stravelli Trio


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.