Bollani is mighty pianist and well established figure on the Jazz firmament. His discography is same hugely impressive as is his versatility. This is however only 3rd artist’s solo album and definitely not on many before he was singing too. Artist claims that it was his love for singing what made him the pianist. That sounds like a decent explanation to me , given his Italian origin.
This album will take by knock out those who prefer Bollani’s ECM recordings. But will certainly get better reception from those who fall in love with his late year Shake Yer Zappa project. Therefore the same quirky sense of humour I loved so much on there is still present here. It also shows more of Bollani’s own nature , as covering freaky Zappa’s song will merge one deep into specific Zappa territory.
Like on previous he plays both the piano and Hammond organ again. Chunky theme opening LP is played on that and it comes like a funky hybrid of Italian movie tunes from fifties merged into jazzy universe of seventies. Coming after Quando,Quando,Quando fits to the same sense of humour . Personally I hate Italian pop and that one is no exception, but it have to be said that is still lovely Bossa , and with pianist’s treatment extract from the tune played up tempo comes very pleasant. Barroso’s Aquarella de Brasil catches up with that nicely. Stefano’s Hammond playing is lovely gentle. Never harsh or edgy. Despite of the material I am sure that organ lovers gonna love it!
Chunky bits he produces are painting melodies with the wide , but soft brush . Rich and meaty. He also covers Silver’s The Preacher and Duke’s Mount Harrisa. First completes funky chunky feeling of pop songs. Second performed on piano holds its own quality. Much more contemporary it shows Bollani at his best, getting into the theme with surgeon precision. The way he keeps balance between the melancholy touch and the natural drive of the melody makes it immediately recognisable. That is his benchmark. Still underlining it with the same wilful jolly feeling he keeps it inside recording’s universe. Dancing tune El Gato sound almost like piano etude and it jumps from one mood to another just like the quoted Cat.
The core of the madness comes with Microchip. It starts with funny mono recited dialogue intro which turns into silly cabaret like song with quirky sense of humour showing Bollani’s theatrical and vocal talents in pretty convenient way. It really is a fun to listen to the lyrics which come quite opposite , calibre wise to seriously expressionistic piano music illustrating the story. The same slapstick charm comes from two remaining songs : Un Viaggio and tittle Arriviano Gli Alieni. Just check an official video for that one and you will see. Therefore I don’t want to reveal all the cards and leave the challenge with you.