Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chick Corea & Stefano Bollani - Orvieto (ecm 2011)

Recording debut of a most exciting new duo - Chick Corea and Stefano Bollani - two of the greatest jazz pianists of our time. Recorded live at the Umbria Jazz Winter Festival last New Year, Orvieto is Chick Corea's first new ECM album in 27 years, and the next step in the label's ongoing association with Stefano Bollani. Effervescent playing, bubbling over with ideas and sparkling wit, it's likely to be one of the most widely praised and most discussed jazz albums of the season. Chick Corea says "Two pianists improvising together is a great challenge, and in these performances with Stefano, inspirational and great fun. Orvieto was winter-cold. The experience was summer-warm." The pianists came to the combination with much broad experience, but what they have achieved together raises the potential of the two-piano format to the borders of magic: the consistency of their imagination is astonishing.
Delightful repertoire includes Chick Corea's "Armando's Rhumba" and Stefano Bollani's "A Valsa da Paula"; two tunes by Jobim; Miles Davis's "Nardis"; Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz"; jazz standards including "Darn that Dream" and "If I Should Lose You"; the blues, a flamenco-influenced traditional tune, free improvised pieces, and more.
Stefano Bollani was born in Milan in 1972. Corea - who recently celebrated his 70th birthday - was born in Massachusetts in 1941. Yet differences of age and experience are levelled by a shared eagerness to play, by a shared love of melody and jazz drive, and by the open-mindedness, quick-wittedness and playfulness common to both players. Here are 'old' and 'new' masters in accord, indeed.
Personnel: Chick Corea (piano), Stefano Bollani (piano)