Friday, May 25, 2012


By Claudio Botelho
Due to a different way of working (provisory, it seems to me) of our customs, we have not received any CD for more than two months now. So, we’ve been forced to live with the ones acquired and received up to the beginning of the current year. Of course we have many things to listen and, here and there, there appears some surprise, some good music which had passed unnoticed in front of us.
Last Saturday, I rediscovered one treasurable CD which I had at home, last month, and had decided to not to keep with me. It was necessary our editor to call my attention, so that I could decide to give it a second trial. Following our phone call and some raving messages of his about it, we met and, together, appreciated it on that weekend.
He was right: there’s another great jazz pianist in the Italian scene (sorry, guys, but here we are in Italy again. I just can’t help…): his name is Dario Carnovale and he has debuted internationally through an album called “Exit for Three”. Along with his cohorts Youry Gouloubev (a classically trained Russian bass musician) and Luca Colussi on drums, he has done this excellent outing: a work released in 2010, with 13 ORIGINAL SONGS, 11 of them of his own pen and the two remaining of Gouloubev’s.
The recording is translucent and – the better part – the renderings are as varied as I have ever seen; a great feature, almost unheard of these days, as everybody, as a rule, trying their own songs, usually come out with one composition disguised as many, i.e.: in the long run, the author’s signature turns the songs boring. In general, I’d rather listen to albums with compositions of various authors, exactly to avoid boredom. As an unspoken rule, one-composer-albums tend to be poor songwise and the improvisational skills of the performer must be really strong to overcome this fragility. In other words: the jazz must be stupendous in order to balance the work.
In this case, the young pianist (with a little help from his bassist) has avoided this one-note samba with aplomb and, for this, must be heralded as one of the best of his breed to come to the international jazz scene.
Much more than not, I give up listening to a CD before it ends for its lack of appeal. Sometimes, I spot one, two or three good presentations, but, even though, I’m not able to reach its end. The common trend of choosing an up-tempo initial song many times ends in choosing a poor performance and the consequent first bad impression may be fatal!
Some choose fast tempo music just for the sake of its… tempo! The hurried listener, in front of this “false start”, may give up listening and, so, loses, many times, some good music which might be in the sequence. I’ve seen this with astonishing frequency and, if you want, I can name an excellent CD, which, to these ears, may cheat many: Antonio Faraò’s “Domi”. You can divide it in two parts: part one, the first and second songs; part two the following ones. The whole of the album is no less than magnificent, as much as I have always expected from this great pianist, but part one is definitely not on par with the second…
But, back to Carnovale: listen to this CD and witness what can be as well the rising of a new star.
For those who didn’t notice the already published review of this CD in these pages, here goes some additional info:

Dario Carnovale Trio
Exit For Three

Dario Carnovale (piano)
Yuri Goloubev (bass)
Luca Colussi (drums)
Release Date: 12/15/2010
Recorded at Artesuono Recording Studio, Cavalicco (Udine), Italy. 

Toots Thielemans with The Shirley Horn Trio
For My Lady

Cover (For My Lady:Toots Thielemans)

The rarefaction of novelties has forced us to go astern and to listen again to some oldies. Last Saturday, I tried Toots Thieleman’s “For my Lady”, a CD he made with the much missed Shirley Horn. This time, save for one song, she was just accompanying that master in her unmistakably way. To listen, together, the most “harmonic” harmonist extant backed by that diva was a delight. In this case, “ no news”(CD’s) was “good news”…

Hal Galper Trio
Trip The Light Fantastic

Cover (Trip the Light Fantastic:Hal Galper Trio)

Hal Galper Trio latest “Trip the Light Fantastic” sports a not so new trend he’s been following lately: perfunctory promenades through the music themes, followed by some very diffuse improvisations. Gone are the days of his very incisive and vigorous playing, now succeeded by some very loose improvisations, lending pale colors to his renderings. I miss a lot his good old days. A pity…

I’m a great fan of Stefano Bollani. What has he been doing lately? I’ve been missing works like his “Stone in the Water”, “Gleda”, “Concertone” and others of the genre. His “Big band!” album was a disappointment for me…

I also miss a lot the Criss Cross days of Bill Charlap. Since he left that company, the adventurousness he used to have left him and he has become a sort of “plain Jane” pianist. His “Souvenir” (1995) and “Distant Star”(1997) remain unchallenged by anything he has done afterwards. In this sense, Charlap is, today, a “distant star”… Unbelievable…

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