Stefano Bollani: Joy in Spite of Everything (ECM/Ode)

 |   |  <1 min read

Stefano Bollani: No Pope No Party
Stefano Bollani: Joy in Spite of Everything (ECM/Ode)

Although this album gets credited above to the witty, inventive and very lively Italian pianist Stefano Bollani (familiar from albums with trumpeter Enrico Rava), the Danish rhythm section of bassist Jesper Bodilsen and drummer Morten Lund will also be known to followers of the ECM label (again through the Rava connection) . . . although perhaps not as familiar as the other two players, the shapeshifting tenor player Mark Turner (from Billy Hart's bands) and brilliant guitarist Bill Frisell.

So this is quite some collusion of talent and ideas across these nine Bollani originals, and the reference points frequently shift between the buoyant end of Sonny Rollins' calypso style (Easy Healing), allusions to the staccato angularity and clipped melodic lines of Ornette Coleman (No Pope No Party where Frisell unveils his most fluid melodicism in a sheen of distinctive sound and Bollani's solo will put a smile on your face) and through to North African references (Alobar e Kudra).

The title track at the end alternates between a flurry of bumble-bee busyness and delicately swinging classic piano-trio playing, Tales from the Time Loop allows Frisell to create the slightly gravity-denying ambience and ethereally space-trip context before a lovely solo by Turner, and a high point is the 12 minute centrepiece Vale which is somewhere between elegant romance and misty film noir.

There's a lot of information packed into these generous 76 minutes, but the impression you'll take away at the end was bannered to you right at the start: Joy, in spite of everything.

A sheer, understated delight. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

RAY BROWN, SUPERBASS (1926-2002): A talent beyond words

RAY BROWN, SUPERBASS (1926-2002): A talent beyond words

Ray Brown great practical joker. Once, in Japan, Brown --- bassist in pianist Oscar Peterson’s famous drummerless group, the most highly paid trio in the jazz world in the 1950s -- went to... > Read more

The Neil Cowley Trio: Displaced (HideInside/Southbound)

The Neil Cowley Trio: Displaced (HideInside/Southbound)

Frankly, British jazz usually doesn't ring my bell. There have been a few artists (Courtney Pine, Andy Sheppard, Jazz Warriors etc) in the past couple of decades who have made an impact, but... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Various Artists: Delta Swamp Rock (2011)

Various Artists: Delta Swamp Rock (2011)

Anyone who has traveled extensively in the United States would tell you that the South is different. Certainly Boston, Omaha and Portland are different. But the South is different... > Read more

WAYNE MACAULEY INTERVIEWED (2013): You want fries with that book?

WAYNE MACAULEY INTERVIEWED (2013): You want fries with that book?

If you're a fan of MasterChef and have glossy recipe books on your shelves, then Melbourne's Wayne Macauley has a novel for you. If you despise the current overload of television cooking shows... > Read more