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Jazz - Released March 22, 2019 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet
The Italian pianist Giovanni Guidi often says “The good teacher is the one that lets you stare out of the window daydreaming sometimes”. Those who have heard him perform alongside fellow musician Enrico Rava, who spotted his talent at the age of 12, or who have ever had the pleasure of listening to his music, will swiftly make the connection between this lovely little saying and his poetic piano playing. On the album Ida Lupino that he recorded for ECM in 2016 with Gianluca Petrella, Louis Sclavis and Gerald Cleaver, Guidi takes us on a beautiful and dreamlike journey and the lightness of his piano is just sublime. Three years later, Giovanni Guidi now leads a new group for his second album with Manfred Sicher’s label, consisting of tenor saxophonist Francesco Bearzatti, guitarist Roberto Cecchetto, double bass player Thomas Morgan and drummer João Lobo. Opening with the title track, Léo Ferré’s most famous song Avec le temps, is straight away a reminder of how popular music has shaped Guidi’s own music. Avec le temps is an album that takes its time; the improvisations are lengthy and the passages of inter-play are intense but a story flows from Guidi’s fingertips and through the keys and this time his four fellow players join him in telling it. This magnificent contemporary jazz opus is concluded with Tomasz, a moving personal tribute to the Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko who died in July 2018. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released September 2, 2016 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet
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Jazz - Released March 22, 2019 | ECM

Booklet
The Italian pianist Giovanni Guidi often says “The good teacher is the one that lets you stare out of the window daydreaming sometimes”. Those who have heard him perform alongside fellow musician Enrico Rava, who spotted his talent at the age of 12, or who have ever had the pleasure of listening to his music, will swiftly make the connection between this lovely little saying and his poetic piano playing. On the album Ida Lupino that he recorded for ECM in 2016 with Gianluca Petrella, Louis Sclavis and Gerald Cleaver, Guidi takes us on a beautiful and dreamlike journey and the lightness of his piano is just sublime. Three years later, Giovanni Guidi now leads a new group for his second album with Manfred Sicher’s label, consisting of tenor saxophonist Francesco Bearzatti, guitarist Roberto Cecchetto, double bass player Thomas Morgan and drummer João Lobo. Opening with the title track, Léo Ferré’s most famous song Avec le temps, is straight away a reminder of how popular music has shaped Guidi’s own music. Avec le temps is an album that takes its time; the improvisations are lengthy and the passages of inter-play are intense but a story flows from Guidi’s fingertips and through the keys and this time his four fellow players join him in telling it. This magnificent contemporary jazz opus is concluded with Tomasz, a moving personal tribute to the Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko who died in July 2018. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released September 2, 2016 | ECM

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Jazz - Released January 18, 2019 | ECM

Italian pianist Giovanni Guidi has been recording for ECM since 2013. During that time, he cut three albums in trio and quartet settings. Avec le Temps adds "quintet" to the leader's résumé; its lineup is comprised of old friends -- bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Joao Lobo -- and some new ones in guitarist Roberto Cecchetto and saxophonist Francesco Bearzatti (the instrument's current standard bearer in 21st century Italian jazz). Avec le Temps is bookended by trio performances, the title track, and "Tomasz," dedicated to the late Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko. The former is the recording's only cover, a Leo Ferre-penned chanson -- lyrics are reprinted in French and English in the booklet. The Monaco-born Ferre, one of the great singers and songwriters of French chanson, lived in Tuscany for decades before his death in 1993, hence Guidi's intimate familiarity with his material. His songs are considered international treasures, the musical poetry underscoring the victories and defeats of everyday life socially, politically, romantically, and existentially. "Avec le Temps" is no exception. Guidi's passion for lyricism is reflected in his articulation of the tune's lyricism, but his dedication to discovery is ever present in the spontaneous invention between him and the rhythm section. "15th of August" stays on the melodic tip, albeit with a quintet. Morgan's crystalline lower-register rumble introduces the theme and Cecchetto employs a restrained Pat Metheny-esque aesthetic that opens a door before the piano enters on a modal drone with Bearzatti following along. Syncopated snares underscore motion more than time and the drone becomes the central tenet with the saxophonist offering post-Coltrane explorations of its margins, punctuated by guitar fills as Guidi rumbles on in the lower-middle register but keeps the tension. "Postludium and a Kiss" and "Johnny the Liar" are untethered improvisations that reflect different sides of Guidi's exploratory M.O. The former is a spectral ballad with all the track elements of conventional melody implied in its first couple of minutes, and it undoes itself with speculative interplay by Bearzatti with Cecchetto just under him as Guidi paints colors on the edges and the rhythm section balances tension and release. The latter's late middle section is all inquiry and question. Contrast these with the nearly straight-ahead post-bop of "No Taxi," where pianist, guitarist, and saxophonist all share the knotty, slightly angular head before Guidi moves into a dazzling solo in his middle register. Morgan, one of the more physical yet unobtrusive bassists in jazz, paints in muted colors on "Caino," with magnificent arco playing and Lobo's flow accenting each choral pass. Guidi's cascading arpeggios usher in subdued but illustrative playing from Bearzatti and Cecchetto. Closer "Tomasz" is a haunting, spherical ballad with Morgan offering the melody and Guidi building on it in response before the pair seamlessly trade places. Lobo's hi-hat, cymbals, and brushed snares add circular motion under the lyric, as Guidi adds surprisingly brief yet pronounced phrases from gospel and classical musics. Guidi is one of ECM's more compelling pianists; on Avec le Temps his dedication to lyricism is weighted in equal portion with his inquisitive, restless will to improvise as he's ably supported by his sidemen. ~ Thom Jurek