Enrico Rava/Stefano Bollani: The Third Man (ECM/Ode)

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Enrico Rava/Stefano Bollani: In Search of Titina
Enrico Rava/Stefano Bollani: The Third Man (ECM/Ode)

It often surprises me what record companies prioritise. My understanding is that the German label ECM is putting a push behind the new album by percussionist Manu Katche, Playground, which is a fine, but somewhat straight-ahead jazz album and not especially adventurous for the most part.

Real interest there lies with pianist Marcin Wasilewski who has played with the Thomas Stanko group, and has therefore appeared at Elsewhere (see tag).

A considerably more interesting album in ECM's new releases is this trumpet and piano duo.

With Rava's exploratory trumpet floating almost weightlessly above the sometimes skeletal playing of young pianist Bollani there is an austere quality here, but it is never without soul or subtlety. Naturally with an album which comes with such an evocative title -- the Graham Greene novel and Orson Welles film, although it perhaps also refers to producer Manfred Eicher -- there are dark corners, even in their seven minute exploration of Jobim's romantic reverie Retrato Em Branco Y Preto which is one of the many high points on an album which deserves -- and rewards -- serious attention.

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