Stefano Bollani, Joy In Spite Of Everything (ECM
The Italian pianist, his Danish rhythm section mates and two American stars emphasize the joy of the title, but Bollani’s album also has moments of thoughtful stateliness. Tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, guitarist Bill Frisell, bassist Jesper Bodilsen and drummer Morten Lund join Bollani in various combinations from duo to quintet. Bollani’s eight compositions reflect inspiration from the Caribbean, Africa, bebop and his fertile imagination. With its springboards of harmonic changes, the rhythmically intricate “No Pope No Party” opens up for inspired improvisation by Bollani, Turner and Frisell. In “Vale Teddy” (“Worthy Teddy”) the Teddy Wilson influence is apparent in Bollani’s exquisite keyboard touch. As for that stateliness, it illumines “Vale Teddy” and Las hortensias,” both with memorable choruses by Turner. The album is an ideal companion to his recent Lathe of Heaven. ECM’s Sound quality is superb.