The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - CORMAC LARKIN

ECM Ital­ian pi­anist Ste­fano Bollani is a cheer­ful soul, on record and in per­son. For his lat­est re­lease, recorded in New York last sum­mer, he has re­cruited a starstud­ded trans-At­lantic quin­tet of the sim­i­larly dis­posed. Sax­o­phon­ist Mark Turner, soon to make his own ECM de­but as leader, can do bright and pro­found at the same time, while gui­tarist Bill Frisell is one of the great­est liv­ing ex­am­ples of a “genre-blind” mu­si­cian who reaches for joy ev­ery time he touches his in­stru­ment. Bollani’s com­po­si­tions are pos­i­tively up­lift­ing, rang­ing stylis­ti­cally from ca­lypso to north African to Th­elo­nious Monk. They re­veal a pi­anist with a rare sen­si­bil­ity, in­tent on chas­ing down joy wher­ever he finds it, aware of the dark side, but pre­pared to smile in spite of it. Happy days. ste­fanobol­lani. com

Joy in Spite of Ev­ery­thing

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