STefAno BollAni Trio
Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic (ACT 9849-2/Planet)
Collaborations between orchestras and jazz musicians generally flatter neither party, the former reduced to lame backgrounds and the latter straight jacketed by the surrounding rigidity. Breaking that mould, this album draws together Italian music ranging across Monteverdi, Rota, Morricone, Rossini, Leoncavallo and Puccini, with the right arranger/conductor (Geir Lysne), orchestra (Berlin Philharmonic), featured guest (accordionist Vincent Peirani) and jazz trio (pianist Stefano Bollani, bassist Jesper Bodilsen and drummer Martin Lund). Bollani, among the most effervescent musicians alive, digs the playfulness out of Rota’s Amacord and Rossini’s Largo al factotum with all the joy of a child in a sandpit. Meanwhile Lysne gives the 14 august orchestra members meaty arrangements that amplify the improvising flair rather than constraining it. If you ever doubted the truth that all music is one,
this will convince you.