I Visionari

Stefano Bollani’s Quintet.

Stefano Bollani: piano
Mirko Guerrini: saxes, flutes,
Nico Gori: clarinets,
Stefano Senni: double bass,
Christian Calcagnile: drums

Jazz CD
Stefano Bollani, I Visionari

John Fordham
The Guardian, Friday 18 August 2006

I Visionari

Italian pianist Stefano Bollani surfaced as a creative sidekick for Italian trumpet legend Enrico Rava, but has also joined contemporary jazz piano (via Jarrett, Corea, Monk and Bill Evans), classical music and visits to everything from Prokofiev to Lennon/McCartney and Zappa.

Last year’s Concertone was as much a classical-orchestral set as a jazz one, and this one joins Bollani and four Italian world/improv players, with walk-on parts for contemporary jazz stars Mark Feldman (violin) and Paolo Fresu (trumpet), plus singer Petra Magoni. The pieces mingle wriggly collective jazz with the soft breeze of Magoni’s singing; pensive reveries for soprano sax (the excellent Mirko Guerrini) and piano with improvs for bass and drums; fiercely funky or Latin-inflected groovers with searing tenor-sax forays and fluid clarinet counter-melodies; snaking Mehldau-like jazz standard piano improvisations (Alone Together), with folksy knees-ups and circus oompah tunes. A kind of Italian Django Bates with a more orthodox lyrical sense, Bollani keeps the surprises coming, wrapped in some fine writing. A good place for newcomers to start.