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Stefano Battaglia Trio: In the Morning-Music of Alec Wilder

Pianist Stefano Battaglia normally presents his ECM Records releases with some sort of theme or homage to artists who have influenced him, and on his latest album In the Morning, he and double bassist Salvatore Maiore & drummer Roberto Dani look to the works of American composer Alec Wilder for inspiration. Recorded live in April of 2014 at the Teatro Vittoria in Torino, the trio majestically tackle four Wilder compositions as well as three settings of poems, otherwise here called 'art songs'.

The title track kicks things off in fine fashion, as Battaglia's luxurious piano melodies twist and weave through the arrangements, the gentle yet intricate rhythms percolating underneath. "River Run" has more of a percussive edge but quickly launches into almost free form improv, while "Moon and Sand" highlights gorgeous, almost haunting melodies from Battaglia that will easily find their way to the farthest reaches of your very soul. Quite the moving number, and made all the more perfect thanks to some sinewy double bass lines courtesy of Maiore. The trio opt for a more standard jazz arrangement on the wonderful "When I Am Dead My Dearest", and again, melody is the key, as both the piano and bass play off each other in stunning fashion. "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" is a tad more abstract, with yearning piano playing off dissonant rhythms, segueing into the gentle, poignant piano/bass melodies of "Where Do You Go?". The trio kicks it into high gear for the closer "Chick Lorimer", with Maiore leading the charge, supplying some sinewy lead double bass lines over frenetic bursts of piano and Dani's array of percussive sounds.

If you like your jazz with plenty of 'light and shade', there will be lots to sink your teeth into here on In the Morning. Battaglia's trio work extremely well together, and they have taken the music of Alec Wilder and other artists here and made it their own. Well done gentleman.

Track Listing
1) In the Morning
2) River Run
3) Moon and Sand
4) When I Am Dead My Dearest
5) The Lake Isle of Innisfree
6) Where Do You Go?
7) Chick Lorimer

Added: December 13th 2015
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: ECM Records
Hits: 1598
Language: english

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