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Stefano Battaglia Trio: The River of Anyder

Modern jazz recordings don't get much better than this. The River of Anyder is the first ECM release for the Stefano Battaglia Trio, though the Italian pianist has recorded for the label previously, and also features double-bassist Salvatore Maiore and drummer Roberto Dani, also both from Italy. The River of Anyder is a mesmerizing affair from start to finish, packed with addicting melodies, mysterious yet highly majestic passages, and stunning instrumental virtuosity.

Battaglia is mostly known as a classical pianist, but you'd never guess that jazz is not his first love after listening to these tracks. "Minas Tirith" and the title track just float with grand yet gentle classic jazz elements, as Battaglia's lush piano lines twist and soar, while Maiore's sinewy bass work and Dani's nimble fills provide for the intricate undercurrent. Dani contributes some odd-metered tribal beats on the Middle Eastern sounding "Ararat Dance", accompanied by Maiore's slippery bass solos and Battaglia's dramatic melodies. After the gorgeous "Return to Bensalem", Battaglia takes a solo spot on the moody "Nowhere Song", again showing his great classical lineage. The 15-minute "Sham-bha-lah" builds and builds thanks to Battaglia's stunning lead melodies and some classy cymbal work from Dani, while the magical lead bass from Maiore paired once again with Battaglia's beautiful piano mightily impresses on the engaging "Bensalem". The darker "Ararat Prayer" sees the trio locking into some more complex structures, and the emotional "Anywhere Song" ends the CD on a somber note, but no less enjoyable.

Nearly flawless and thoroughly majestic from start to finish, The River of Anyder is a masterful triumph from the Stefano Battaglia Trio. Anyone who loves the mysterious nature of European jazz mixed with the grandeur & romanticism of classic music, needs to check this CD out right away.

Track Listing

  1. Minas Tirith
  2. The River of Anyder
  3. Ararat Dance
  4. Return to Bensalem
  5. Nowhere Song
  6. Sham-bha-lah
  7. Bensalem
  8. Anagoor
  9. Ararat Prayer
  10. Anywhere Song

Added: October 17th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: ECM Records
Hits: 1956
Language: english

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