CD review: Stefano Battaglia Trio

songwaysSongways
(ECM CD3724554)

The title is attractive for a start – and the Italian pianist, with Salvatore Maiore on bass and Roberto Dani on drums, explains that this album marks a new development in his melodicism.

“The new step represents at new harmonic balance between archaic modal pre-tonal chant and dances, pure tonal songs and hymns, and abstract texture.”

You can hear them all in these ten tracks as all three players explore both song and texture in the kind of sustained mood and atmosphere we have become used to from some of the ECM bands – like Tord Gustavsen’s three trio discs, for example.

The Stefano Battaglia Trio

The Stefano Battaglia Trio

The opener, Euphonia Elegy, has a loose energy to it with Battaglia maintaining a rolling waterfall in his left hand while building with his right to an eventual melodic fragment that sounds like it could come equally from the triumphant climax of a Keith Jarrett solo improvisation or out of a Tom Waits ballad.

This is another very fine album from the classical turned jazz pianist who has in the past made music inspired by the film director Pasolini. Here he has references to Odysseus with the track Ismaro (for some reason it has a Greek feel to it) and apparently Mildendo Wide Song is inspired by Jonathan Swift’s description of the capital of Lilliput in Gulliver’s Travels.

If a lot of the allusions are important to the pianist, the fact that they might be lost on the listener doesn’t really matter – this is gorgeous music in its own right.

 



Categories: CD review

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1 reply

  1. I don’t know him but the music sounds marvelous. I love to hear classically trained pianists play jazz!

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