Giovanni Guidi Trio ‘This Is The Day’ (ECM) 4/5

giovanni-guidi-trioYoung Italian pianist and leader Giovanni Guidi has quietly emerged onto the scene and quickly established an individual style in the lineage of both Bill Evans and his compatriot Enrico Piernanunzi, while collectively the trio have gained useful experience with groups of the calibre of Enrico Rava and Tomasz Stanko among others. This new recording is a follow-up to the well received debut from 2012, ‘City of Broken Dreams’ and features his long-term trio of bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer João Lobo. Marked introspection and stylish restraint is the order of the day and the tone is set by the contemplative opener ‘Trilly’ with a fine languid bass solo from Morgan. As a whole the album stylistically divides up into three parts, with the first third the most relaxed, a second third in a more freer and experimental mode, and then a melodic finale. A highlight is the treatment of a staple of the Cuban songbook, ‘Quizas, Quizas, Quizas’ that Nat Cole immortalised and his version was as the soundtrack to Wong Kar-Wai’s ‘In the Mood for Love’ film Here the trio attempt an altogether slower pace than per usual with quasi-Bach tones in parts, and the number slowly builds in intensity, developing through stages into a burning mid-tempo piece with Morgan engaging in some delightful soloing while Guidi comps. This writer would like to hear more of this side of the trio. Another cover, this time from the US songbook, ‘I’m through with love’, receives a reposing treatment and yet still retains a soulfulness of approach. Elsewhere Lobo offers a free-form composition in ‘Baiiia’ that transforms into a delicate and somewhat minimalist piece complete withy delicate touches from Guidi and inventive use of percussion from Lobo. For evidence of what this trio are fully capable of, look no further than the deeply romantic classical hues of ‘Trilly var.’ where the influence of Schubert on Guidi is apparent. A one-off performance in early April in London at, of all places, a prestigious art gallery, will hopefully not be the sole occasion on which a British public will finally have the opportunity to hear this trio in a live setting. Expect them to return for a longer sojourn at some stage in the future and this new album will go some way to cementing their already burgeoning reputation.

Tim Stenhouse