Enrico Pieranunzi

The Complete Remastered Recordings on Black Saint & Soul Note

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The CAM Jazz Black Saint/Soul Note reissue series has brought to light substantial quantities of exceptional music dating from the 1970s, '80s, and '90s. Those who pounced to obtain copies of the Anthony Braxton, Don Pullen, and Henry Threadgill sets might also do well to investigate the Italian artists who naturally enough recorded for these Milano-based labels on a fairly regular basis, such as Enrico Rava and straight-ahead pianist Enrico Pieranunzi. Born in Rome in 1949, Pieranunzi grew up to become one of Europe's established masters of mainstream modern jazz. His six-CD set opens with the album Isis, which was recorded in February 1980. Pieranunzi shared the date with trumpeter Art Farmer (heard on flügelhorn) and alto saxophonist Massimo Urbani. A handful of compositions by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie bring extra warmth to an already substantial itinerary. Pieranunzi's next Soul Note album, Deep Down, was recorded in February 1986 with drummer Joey Baron and Marc Johnson, whose presence was significant as he was the last bassist to work with Pieranunzi's idol, Bill Evans. Those expecting to encounter the 1987 album Silence will not find it in this set, but rather in the Charlie Haden edition from the same series. Chronologically speaking, the next album in this box is No Man's Land, recorded in May 1989 with Johnson and drummer Steve Houghton. Flux & Change, which came together in August of 1992, is a suite of 23 studies (some of them quite brief) created in duet with percussionist Paul Motian. Seaward was recorded in March of 1994 with bassist Hein van de Geyn and drummer André Ceccarelli. Both players hailed from Dee Dee Bridgewater's backing band. This bundle of dependably enjoyable modern jazz closes with the album Ma l'Amore No. Recorded in February 1997, it features alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, trumpeter Enrico Rava, and vocalist Ada Montellanico. In later years Pieranunzi recorded a lot for the CAM Jazz label, variously collaborating with Charlie Haden, Paul Motian, and Kenny Wheeler; reuniting with Johnson and Baron; or devoting entire albums to reinterpretations of music by Domenico Scarlatti, George Frederick Handel, and Johann Sebastian Bach. Among denizens of North America, Pieranunzi's portion of the Soul Note reissue series may serve to increase awareness of his contributions to the inextinguishable, ever-changing braid of musical traditions called jazz.

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