When I last caught up with Enrico Pieranunzi’s playing it was in trio form, a live gig that captured one of drum-legend Paul Motian’s final performances behind the kit. It was a devastatingly good set – one I revisit, but beyond that I’ve forgotten to check in on Peiranunzi, an expressive, thoughtful, almost meditative-style pianist.
Here with an album of solo pieces named for painters and inspired by the visual art of painting, as its title nods, the Italian pianist alternates between the delicate (Sirenes For Matisse) and wee rompers (Boogie For Mondrian). He colours in and around the spaces (Blue And Black) or just makes sure to leave plenty of space (Yellow and Red Lines). There are joyous wee deviations (Picasso Vibes sees him duetting with vibraphone, both instruments stabbing at questions rather than pondering conversation) and there are deeply thoughtful ballads (Klimt).
For the most part though these are snapshot pieces, sketches, water-colour (rather than water-cooler) moments where Pieranunzi delights in the frenetic one minute (Pollock 1) or even or a couple of minutes (Pollock 2) and then revisits to, er, ‘paint’ in (or paint in) the tranquillity (Pollock’s Mood).
There are six pieces named for Hopper in the album’s centre – and then the coda of Blues For Hopper. Maybe this is the album’s emotional centre also. We really feel like eavesdroppers here, the private conversation is between Enrico and his instrument.
This is a beautiful set of piano meditations. A master player in fine form offering an album (possibly best suited for the wee smalls). It’s also an album I can’t recommend enough.
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