Stefano Bollani / Jesper Bodilsen / Morten Lund: Stone In The Water (2009)
There is a conversational thread that runs throughout the trio recording by Italian pianist Stefano Bollani and his Danish trio with bassist Jesper Bodilsen and drummer Morten Lund. Since that colloquia is produced by ECM's Manfred Eicher, the tone is hushed, but the exchange is discerning and intelligent.
Bollani's previous disc for ECM was Piano Solo (2007), and he also can be found working with Enrico Rava on a number of the trumpeter's discs, also for ECM, including Easy Living 2004), TATI (2005), The Third Man (2008) and the critically acclaimed New York Days (2008).
On Stone In The Water, he begins his dialogue with Caetano Veloso's "Don de iludir," but the Brazilian roots are hard to identify, as Bollani's trio speaks with a Danish accent. Same for the cover of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Brigas nunca mais." The trio pronounces all the music here with a quiet energy, not unlike a Bill Evans session, where the listener is a lurker into a private world.
Bollani's playing is quite economical, yet the trio displays its conceptions in a full blooming nature. The mellowness of "Edith" is countered by the energy of "Il cervello del pavone." But even the trio's animated music there is reserved, allowing a glimpse into its powerful engine, but also making clear that it's not going to open the throttle. By the final track, "Joke In The Village," pieces of jazz history are dropped into the playing. If they had been engaged in a louder conversation, the snippet of "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" might have gone by undetected, and that would have been a shame.
Track Listing: Don de iludir; Orvieto; Edith; Brigas nunca mais; Il cervello del pavone; Un sasso nello stagno; Improvisation 13 en la mineur; Asuda; Joker in the village.
Personnel: Stefano Bollani: piano; Jesper Bodilsen: double-bass; Morten Lund: drums.