All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

178

Enrico Pieranunzi: Special Encounter

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi drew strong accolades with last year's quintet FelliniJazz (CAM Jazz), though he's been busy making records since the '70s. He returns with the same veteran rhythm section, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Paul Motian, for this trio Special Encounter. But the two discs are linked in more ways than one, because they were actually recorded during successive Rome studio sessions during March of 2003.

And so it's no surprise that they share many features in common: Piernanunzi's penchant for elegant, lyrical melodies; a full awareness, however rarely exploited, of the expansive possibilities of modern jazz; an intuitive shared spirit of exploration and discovery; and a general preference for understatement. But Special Encounter is a pared down recording, made prorportionately more spare by the absence of the horns, and it has a particularly pensive late night mood.

In addition to three standards, the disc features five Pieranunzi compositions (four of which are new on record) and three by Haden. The mostly ballad menu means that tempos tend to be slow, dynamics soft, and moods contemplative. Pinches of dissonance appear on the barely resolved "Secret Nights," a piece the pianist describes as related to the "kind of erratic, unanswered questioning" that sometimes takes place during dreams. His anthem-like "Earlier Sea" is the highlight of the recording, with a slightly faster pulse and a recurring feeling of sideways motion.

A similarly accelerated "Waltz for Ruth" finds Haden mostly guarding the pulse and allowing Motian to open up with light color and accent on the drums, while Pieranunzi sways and lilts through the memorable melody. Haden's solo has a natural, unforced, organic feel. This take presents an interesting contrast to the version that opens Haden's duet collaboration with Pat Metheny, Beyond the Missouri Sky (Verve, 1997).

This kind of softness and delicacy demands a rare sort of maturity, restraint, and wisdom—qualities present in abundance among these three veteran players. Trio jazz doesn't get much better than this.


Track Listing: My Old Flame; You've Changed; Earlier Sea; Nightfall; Secret Nights; Loveward; Waltz for Ruth; Miradas; Hello My Lovely; Why Did I Choose You?; Mo-Ti

Personnel: Enrico Pieranunzi (piano), Charlie Haden (bass), Paul Motian (drums)

Title: Special Encounter | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: CAM Jazz

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read First Impressions CD/LP/Track Review
First Impressions
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 25, 2018
Read Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two CD/LP/Track Review
Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two
by Chris May
Published: February 25, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review
In Stride
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 25, 2018
Read Osmosis CD/LP/Track Review
Osmosis
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 25, 2018
Read Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest CD/LP/Track Review
Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 25, 2018
Read You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To CD/LP/Track Review
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 24, 2018
Read "Trip" CD/LP/Track Review Trip
by James Nadal
Published: August 1, 2017
Read "Chasing the Unicorn" CD/LP/Track Review Chasing the Unicorn
by Paul Rauch
Published: September 6, 2017
Read "Hoping Against Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hoping Against Hope
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "All You Gotta Do" CD/LP/Track Review All You Gotta Do
by Doug Collette
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Ancient Agents" CD/LP/Track Review Ancient Agents
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 28, 2017
Read "Songbook Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook Volume 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 12, 2017