Enrico Pieranunzi has been a popular guest in Copenhagen for over 30 years, where he has played with elite Danish musicians like Mads Vinding, Alex Riel and Jesper Lundgaard. In recent years he has collaborated closely in a duo context with the phenomenal bassist Thomas Fonnesbæk and the two, together, were soon able to achieve new heights of creativity.
Pieranunzi is an exceptional pianist, whether he’s playing solo, duo or trio. Melodically, harmonically, and not least of all rhythmically, he is “out of this world”. He has something you simply don’t hear with other musicians. Part of the explanation is likely due to a unique combination of influences, from his deep roots in classical and Italian music to his collaboration with iconic film composer Ennio Morricone and jazz giants like Chet Baker and Art Farmer. The rest – and most importantly – is due to Enrico himself.
On this recording, from December 1996 at the legendary and now closed Copenhagen Jazzhouse, he is joined by two masters in their own right; Marc Johnson on bass and Paul Motian on drums. This trio plays with virtuosity and force that shines through on every note and beat.
The album opens with the tempo filled track Abacus, written by Motian. A track that has a playfulness and displays the three musicians’ genuine interaction and functions as a conversation between the piano and bass. Both the technique as well as feel is top-level as the musical resources are in free flow. The Night Gone By, written by Pieranunzie, starts with more of a ballad feel before a bass solo transcends the track into a higher tempo midway lead by the piano, before coming back to its initial softer feel at the end. Album closer Pannonica, a Thelonius Monk penned classic, has more of a swing feel to it, has more of a swing feel to it and closes the album in style.
Pieranunzi, the Italian piano master, is recognized as one of the best European jazz pianists and as a pianist, composer and arranger he has recorded more than 70 albums.