Enrico Pieranunzi

Daedalus' Wings

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A piano duet recording, these two Europeans adopt a jazz stance in the romantic tradition with witty improvisations, occasional injections of raw passion, and a palpable empathy considering they had never played together before. It's a direct approach that is hardly simple or basic but should appeal to listeners of modern piano à la Bill Evans, ECM fans, and creative improvised music mavens. Each pianist does their solo take of "I Can't Get Started"; Van Den Brink uses widely spaced melody notes in a barely recognizable interpretation, while Pieranunzi is more pensive and clearly states the line and improvises more off of it. They do standards as the rambling, off-the-cuff intro, head, and bridge of "You & the Night & the Music," and a Duke Ellington medley comprising a sunrise serenade, a substantially improvised "In a Sentimental Mood," the two-beat driven "Caravan," the lightly stridden "Prelude to a Kiss," and the tango fired energy of the excited "It Don't Mean a Thing." Van Den Brink wrote the beautifully serene, dramatically romantic waltz "Woods." Pieranunzi wrote another two, a more upbeat waltz "O Toi Desir (pour Stefi)," with one pianist following the other via animation, a flying bridge, and some groove, while the multi-elemental "Si Peu de Temps" sports minimalist yet kinetic phrases, a swing section, meditation, marching, and frantic improv, a demonstration of real high drama. The pianists co-penned several songs, including the "Daedalus Suite," with the "Ouverture" fleshing out each other's notions; "Mosso" using ascending and descending crisscrossing and playful counterpoint; "Adagissimo" is like "Daedalus" rising in a pitch black, ominous mood; and "Short Tune," which displays brilliant orgasmic bursts and a resolution. The remaining four cuts are brief joint improvs, three are about a minute in length. "Two for Two" uses playful and bluesy tradings, "Hymn" is simply solemn, the three minute "Guitar Blues" has a probing stance and charcoal shadings, while "Pour Claude" is merely a slip of an improv that comes and goes in the mist. Wonder what Keith Jarrett, Kurt Ellenberger, or perhaps Chick Corea might think of this? Fans of those brilliant pianists should also gravitate toward this special recording.

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