May 19, 2024

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Lively improvisational power are Antonio Farao’s strengths with trio a light pendulum in the Tbilisi Jazz festival 2023: Video, Photos

On one of the concert days at the Tbilisi Jazz Festival 2023, Antonio Farao was the hero, and Herbie Hancock’s opinion about his pianist partner was chosen in the concert invitation and preface: “I’m not often surprised by the recordings of musicians the way I was overwhelmed the first time I heard Antonio Farao’ on one of his recent CD’s. What amazed me was what I felt inside of me. There is so much warmth, conviction and power to his playing. I was immediately attracted to his harmonic conception, the joy of his rhythms and swing feel and the grace and ingenuity of his melodic improvisational lines. Antonio is not only a fine pianist but a great one.”

In the luxurious concert hall of the Sheraon Metekhi hotel in Tbilisi, local jazz lovers said that they heard and enjoyed this musician on April 30, International Jazz Day 2023, on the stage of the capital’s Conservatory.

Antonio Farao performed at the Tbilisi Jazz Festival 2023 with his young colleagues. with double bassist Carlo Bavetta and drummer Pasquale Fiore.

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Gorgeous harmonies and lively improvisational power are Antonio Farao’s strengths. Above all, in the two interpreted standards, the Roman pianist abandons the pleasure of playing himself, trying to avoid a mere display of virtuosity, offering a personal reinterpretation full of expressiveness and a jazzy feel. His playing is thus subjected to the magnifying glass of instant reconfiguration to expand its tempos and dynamics.

In the foreground, a cheerful reproduction of post-bop stylistic features, carried out with solutions rich in class and nuances. The excellent rhythm fits well into the leader’s works, more lyrical and essential today than in the past. Layered textures with great rhythmic and timbral mobility prevail.

The proposed energy dynamics balance emits a light pendulum with an oblique oscillating formulation. Therefore the Italian series starts off on the right foot with perfect balance thanks to this beautiful concerto.

This trio deserves a “live” documentation, which will better show its volatile expressiveness.

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Originally from Rome, Farao’s musical sensibility together with a remarkable knack for melodic improvisation, have contributed to his reputation as one of the most respected pianists in the International scene. Farao’s style is unique: flawless technical proficiency, unbridled creativity and exhilarating vitality, and remarkable rhythmic skills.

Antonio Farao was born into an extremely musical family. His mother was a known painter, his father was a jazz drummer. However, both of them had a great affinity and introduced him to the jazz music. By means of that he grew up listening to musicians such as: Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Due Ellington, Frank Sinatra and last but not least Ella Fitzgerald. Because of the parent’s life pioneering Antonio Farao gained the love for swing from them. First influenced by that style today’s influences are different. At the age of 6 he started playing vibraphone which was followed by drum playing. Finally he began to play piano and he joined piano classes with Adriano Giustina and Riccardo Risaliti at a classical school. It was the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory where Antonio Farao studied for a degree. The completion of all studies was done after a period of 8 years.

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Based on his early interest in Afro-American jazz music Antonio Farao had idols such as Oscar Peterson and Errol Gardner until he discovered musicians like McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarret, Bil Evans, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk. Just to name the most important examples. Among the musicians influencing him there also is to mention John Williams, composer of the famous film music for ET, Stars Wars Indiana Jones …

Antonio Farao has worked with a number of great jazz musicians including a recording at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London with André Ceccarelli and the London Symphony Orchestra for the soundtrack of the movie “Anthony Zimmer” with the French actress Sophie Marceau. He has performed and registered with the likes of Franco Ambrosetti, André Ceccarelli, Daniel Humair, Mike Clark, Gary Bartz, Lee Konitz, Steve Grossman, Christian Mc Bride, Chico Freeman, Von Freeman, Miroslav Vitous, John Abercrombie, Richard Galliano, Toots Thielemans, Jack Dejohnette, Dave Liebman, Didier Lockwood, Benny Golson, Joe Lovano, Johnny Griffin, George Garzone, Cecil Mc Bee … and with the famous italian pop singer Mina, Jack DeJohnette on drums, Chris Potter on tenor sax and Drew Gress on bass.

By Simon Sargsyan

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