Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Two Piano Trios Tackle Italian Film Music

Two piano trios, two Italian film composers, and two beautiful discs from CamJazz. That is the message for today.

Product DetailsJohn Taylor, the verteran British pianist with a long and distinguished discography, has released " "Giulia's Thursdays" (CamJazz 2012), a jazz tribute to the music of Carlo Rustichelli which is as elegant agraceful as any of his previous piano trios, particulalry those with Palle Danielsson on bass, and Martin France on drums, who round out the trio on this CD. Recorded in 2006 but held until now, this is beautifully melodic and inspired music from a composer who is very little known outside Europe, unlike Nino Rota, for example, who has had two tribute discs released of his music this year by Mark Soskin and Richard Galliano. Rustichelli's two selections from his most famous score "Divorce Italian Style" are both lilting melodies, but then so are most of the pieces which have a refined and somewhat subdued sensibility, which in turn brings out those moments which rise above mezzo-forte or which romp at speeds beyuond the mostly mid-tempo themes that dominate. This is another beautiful disc in the vein of much of Taylor's previous works and recommended.

Product DetailsEdward Simon, is a 42 year old Venezuelan pianist and recent (2010) recipient of a Guggenhiem Fellowship, and has a long list of recognized recordings, including two -- Edward Simon (Kokopelli Records 1995) and Simplicitas (CamJazz 2005) -- which were on many top ten lists for those years -- and his recent recordings as a member of the SFJazz Collective. His piano trios combine straight ahead jazz with the rhythms and feel of his South America roots, and a personal reflections for Simon of is heritage and jazz education. On this newest  release, also held since recorded in 2006, "A Master's Diary" (CamJazz 2006), he and his trio with Scott Colley bass and Clarence Penn on drums tackle the musical scores of Fiorenzo Carpi, who wrote for Italian theatre, and television. The trio, joined on the opening number by the muted trumpet of Diego Urcola, have taken the lyrical melodies and added their own touch based on the heritage of Simon and the jazz sensibilities of the trio. the music is light and elegant, with long passages of wonderfully solid trio play that, according to the liner notes, rewrite and elevate the music to new heights.

Two refined and elegant tributes for piano trio lovers.

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