This album was released in Italy last year but the pianist – born in Bari in 1978 – is in London on Monday and the album has been getting some healthy exposure on Jazz FM for the past couple of weeks.
And deserved exposure it certainly is. Of course the links to EST are obvious, even down to those faint metallic synth echoes to the piano chords, and the hip-hop drumming we have become familiar with via Robert Glasper and others is in there too.
With Fornarelli on piano, Fender Rhodes and synth, are Luca Bulgarelli on double bass and Gianlivio Liberti on drums.
Room Of Mirrors is filled with hooky melodies and compulsive grooves that makes this album very easy on the ear, and likely to make cooking breakfast or taking a quick drive down the motorway an even more pleasurable experience – if that’s how you get your pleasure, of course. It has that kind of energy, worn lightly, and with a lot of space in the arrangements to give the music momentum.
The title track is an easy crowd pleaser, and Daily Jungle follows it with even more urgency. In contrast The Flavour Of Clouds (nice title!) shows that the band is just as comfortable in ballad mood. While the moods change subtly through the other five tracks, the general character of the band remains coherent and focussed. This is clearly a man who knows where he is going musically.
Kekko Fornarelli brings a different bassist and drummer to the Pizza Express in Soho, London, on Monday 3 September, but I’m sure he will be playing this music. You can find out more here.
In the meantime here is The Flavour Of Clouds: