Enrico Pieranunzi Trio ‘Stories’ (Cam Jazz) 4/5

enrico-pieranunziItalian pianist and leader Enrico Pieranunzi is that most sensitive of musicians and has a long-term affection for the music of Bill Evans. However, he is no mere imitator and, over a lengthy career, has built a reputation for quality craftsmanship in the art of the piano trio. Indeed, he has performed with musicians of the calibre of bassists Charlie Haden and Marc Johnson and drummers Paul Motion and Joey Barron. For this latest project, an all original composition set with one piece written by the bassist, Pieranunzi has surrounded himself with two of New York’s finest in bassist Scott Colley and current Pat Metheny Unity group member Antonio Sanchez. Collectively, they conjur up some deeply evocative and highly imaginative piano trio music. An immediate highlight is the pretty and melodic main theme that pervades ‘Detrás más allá’ with Latinesque hues in the stating of the theme. By contrast, there is something of a more classical approach which is emphasized in ‘Blue Waltz’ with a lightness of touch that has become Pieranunzi’s trademark and a delightful vamp on piano that makes the piece so memorable. For a more reflective mood, the ballad ‘The slow gene’ has a wonderful floating feel throughout and the sedately paced ‘Where stories are’ which is at once delicate and where the influence of Bill Evans is most obvious. It should be stressed that he creative mind of the leader is in full flow on this album with fine interplay between Pieranunzi and the other two members of the rhythm section. The current trio has great potential and it is to be hoped that this latest album forms part of a long-term collaboration between the constituent members. As ever with Cam Jazz releases, the excellent quality of sound is matched by the evocative imagery on the inner sleeve photos and photographer Andrea Buccalini is to be commended for his work here. Extended and informative inner sleeve notes comer courtesy of jazz journalist, presenter and writer Brian Morton.

Tim Stenhouse