CD review: Pierluigi Balducci – L’equilibrista 2020: Video, CD cover

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Produced by Dodicilune, distributed in Italy and abroad by Ird and in the best online stores by Believe Digital, L’equilibrista, the new recording project by Pierluigi Balducci.

In the seven original songs, the Apulian composer and bassist is joined by three interesting musicians from the European jazz scene: the Italian-Canadian Robert Bonisolo, tenor sax giant, Fabrizio Savino, Bari guitarist of great artistic sensitivity, and Dario Congedo, Salento drummer with extraordinary talent. “The album is dedicated to the British pianist John Taylor,” underlines Balducci. «A point of reference for me and for many other European musicians, John honored me with his presence in my quartet with Paul McCandless and Michele Rabbia until his death in 2014 and on the Blue from heaven (2012) and Evansiana (2017) records , always out for Dodicilune. His being “always on the wire” inspired, in fact, the title of my new album ».

The equilibrist proposes new compositions, new sound, new energy, in the name of a redesigned balance between the improvised and the written element. The idea, precisely, of balance as something dynamic and tensive, in which creative effort is implicit, balance as a concept that is not at all opaque, flat or normalizing, has always fascinated Balducci: if you choose the path of the unexpected , of the unheard of, of the surprising as the substance of jazz, it is easy to “fall off the thread”, but the risk itself is essential in the game of improvisation.

The record is dedicated to the British pianist John Taylor, says Balducci. «A point of reference for me and for many other European musicians, John honored me with his presence in my quartet with Paul McCandless and Michele Rabbia until his death in 2014 and on the albums” Blue from heaven “(2012) and” Evansiana “(2017), always released for Dodicilune. His being” always on the wire “inspired, in fact, the title of my new album».

“The equilibrist” offers new compositions, new sound, new energy, in the name of a redesigned balance between the improvised and the written element. The idea of ​​balance as something dynamic and tensive, in which creative effort is implicit, balance as a concept that is not at all opaque, flat or normalizing, has always fascinated Balducci: if you choose the path of the unexpected , of the unheard of, of the surprising as a substance of jazz making, it is easy to “fall off the thread”, but the risk itself is essential in the game of improvisation.

“The first song Blackarera sounds like an unusual mix of Argentine folk dance, the chacarera and the harmonies close to the 60s of Hancock and Shorter,” says Balducci. «The vicious is one of my dedications to my colleague and bassist friend Viz Maurogiovanni: a composition with an articulated and unusual narrative structure, characterized by a large, imposing, very” Italian “melody. The equilibrist “, continues the bassist,” is a song written for John Taylor and already recorded in a trio with the English pianist and drummer Michele Rabbia (Blue from Heaven – 2012), this song is the musical representation of walking on the wire, of that bet with the unknown which is the substance of jazz and the game of improvisation. Taylor is one of the greatest “equilibrists” that jazz has ever had. As an “evansian” », continues the Apulian composer», I love ternary times. In Until proven otherwise the fairly pressing harmonies of the theme of this waltz jazz are then dilated and enlarged, becoming the harmonic canvas for the solos. Kosmos and chaos is instead a composition that has an energetic rhythmic engine, with time in 5/4 and some unexpected events in 3/4. The philosophical title of this song summarizes a relationship of love vital to the jazz experience of making music: that between opposites of order and chaos. Monet “, explains Balducci” is a passage suspended between colorism and modality, impressionist also in the title. Lastly, the Wormhole, the title of the closing song, is a sort of space-time tunnel capable of shortening the distances between the inconceivable sidereal distances. The quartet interacts creating a sort of vortex, a spiral of progressive tension, in which to involve the listener “.

„Bass player and composer among the most active of the Italian jazz scene, Pierluigi Balducci has performed on the stages of festivals and jazz clubs in Italy, Europe and all over the world, collaborating with musicians such as Ernst Reijseger, Robert Bonisolo, Luciano Biondini, Gabriele Mirabassi, Javier Girotto, Michele Rabbia, Antonio Tosques, John Taylor, Roberto Ottaviano, Paul McCandless, Maurizio Brunod, Vincenzo Maurogiovanni, Marta Raviglia and many others. He is currently a member of the Amori Sospesi trio, with Gabriele Mirabassi and Nando Di Modugno. He has live performances for radio broadcasters such as Rai Radio3, the Austrian ORF, the Korean MBC and the German Bayerischer Rundfunk. As leader and composer, he released several albums on his behalf; in the years 2000/2005 he released three leading records with Peppo Spagnoli’s Splasc (h) Records label. Since 2006 he is an artist of the Dodicilune. Rai Radio3 interviewed him in June 2017 dedicating an episode of Radio3 Suite to the “Evansiana” album, while the magazines Musica Jazz and Jazzit often dedicated extensive interviews to him. His records have been frequently reviewed by the specialized Italian and foreign press. The “Jazzit Award” promoted by Jazzit magazine has included it for many years in the top ten of the best Italian electric jazz bassists. It is an endorser of the prestigious Italian brands Markbass, Meridian Guitars and the classic Dieter Hopf basses. He teaches bass guitar and improvisation techniques at the Matera Conservatory. With “L’equilibrista” he continues his collaboration with Dodicilune after “Leggero” (2006), “Stupor Mundi” (2009), the two works “Blue from heaven” (2012) and “Evansiana” (2017) with the quartet. completed by John Taylor, Paul McCandless and Michele Rabbia, “Amori. suspended “(2015) with Gabriele Mirabassi and Nando Di Modugno,” Cinema, Volume 1 “with Vincenzo” Viz “Maurogiovanni and participation in the” Synopsis “projects of Antonio Tosques Quartet (2007),” Galantuomini “by Gabriele Rampino (2009 ) and “My Waits. Tom Waits Songbook” by singer Serena Spedicato (2012).

The Dodicilune label, founded and led by Gabriele Rampino (artistic director) and Maurizio Bizzochetti (label manager) has been active since 1996 and has a catalog of over 250 productions by Italian and foreign artists. Distributed in stores in Italy and abroad by IRD, Dodicilune discs can also be purchased online, listened to and downloaded on the world’s major platforms thanks to Believe Digital.

01. Blackarera
02. Il vizioso
03. L’equilibrista
04. Fino a prova contraria
05. Kosmos and Chaos
06. Monet
07. Wormhole

Pierluigi Balducci - L'equilibrista (2020)

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