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Mauro Schiavone: UFO

Mark Corroto By

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The amalgamated form of a fully integrated jazz trio is thing of beauty. A united ensemble finds each note played by the pianist somehow anticipated by bass and drums. When said trio is primed even for improvised passages, then the performance is something special.

Perhaps pianist Mauro Schiavone's trio record should have been titled "ESP" instead of UFO.

The disc contains five trio pieces, three with the addition of guitarist Francesco Guaiana, and one that adds saxophonist Gaspare Palazzolo. In between, Schiavone lays down four short "Frammento" (Fragments)—solo piano pieces.

The music references that of Swedish pianist Esbjorn Svensson whose use of the piano trio drew from classical jazz and modern beats. Schiavone's references to Svensson begin with "Risiko!" an intricate techno sounding acoustic jazz composition that oscillates between a sympathetic post-bop and a more contemporary sound. Schiavone has a way of combining styles that leave traditionalists satisfied, but also please modern ears.

"Follow Me" is a breakneck speed piece of post-bop piano with each player rushing towards a crash and derailment that never happens. When the pianist eases back, Gabrio Bevilacqua's bass walks (no, runs) through a delicious solo. The same speed is heard on "Inquieto," a restless piece that was penned by the pianist but could have easily been part of the rock band Nirvana's repertoire. The pounding quiet-to-loud beat of Roberto Pistolesi mimics the same pummeling of Schiavone's keyboard.

Of the three tracks with guitarist Francesco Guaiana, the ballad "Leaves" strikes the strongest chord. Schiavone's abilities at both the keyboard and in composition demonstrate that he is a complete musician.

Track Listing: Un'idea Fissa (Frammento); Risiko!; Esbjörn; Follow Me; Inquieto (Frammento); Un'idea Fissa; Inquieto; Ufo (Frammento); Leaves; My Man's Gone Now; Way Back Counterpoint; Esbjörn (Frammento); UFO.

Personnel: Mauro Schiavone: piano; Gabrio Bevilacqua: double bass; Roberto Pistolesi: drums; Francesco Guaiana: guitar (9, 11, 13); Gaspare Palazzolo: tenor saxophone (6).

Title: UFO | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Improvvisatore Involontario

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CD/LP/Track Review
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