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Bebop Spoken There

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

CD Review: Stefano Bollani/Hamilton de Holanda - O Que Será

Stefano Bollani (pno); Hamilton de Holanda (bandolim).
(Review by Lance).
I approached this one cautiously, the way one circles uncertainly around a piece of unattended luggage in a busy rail station. Was this going to be some Italian/Brazilian axis seeking world domination by defeating all the musical values we have treasured over the years?
Thankfully not.
This dynamic duo may well have reshaped some territory but it is as much a friendly invasion of the European classical tradition as it is of the shores of jazz and, in a sense, transcends genre so let's just call it music and pdg music at that!
I detect a sense of Schumann or Liszt's romanticism in the playing of Bollani. The Italian pianist  is explorative at times as well as being capable of virtuoso flourishes at others. Imagine Scott Joplin on Speed after listening to Keith Jarrett!
Holando plays the bandolim - an instrument relatively unknown in jazz or classical circles. It is in fact a 10 string mandolin but doesn't sound like one. In Brazil it's just one of the many instruments rarely heard outside.
Both musicians converse, coerce,  and conceive a a beautiful musical child
It's a gem to listen to again and again. Particularly impressive are the contrapuntal moments the duo share. Each pursuing individual yet sympathetic lines. It may be fugue-al but as regards notes its certainly not frugal!
Another one to consider - love it. Has ECM changed or have I!?
Stefano Bollani/Hamilton de Holanda - O Que Será released on August 26 on ECM 374 0459.
Lance.

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