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Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month - Pianiste Maestro - 4 étoiles Classica
Among the hundreds or thousands of recordings of Gershwin favorites on the market, it's difficult to stand out. But this big-budget European release manages to do it. Even if it's not uniformly successful, there's a feeling of appreciation for Gershwin's music here that has merit on its own. Instead of trying to blend the classical and jazz elements in Gershwin, conductor Riccardo Chailly takes the novel approach of pushing each of them to extremes and, in various ways, keeping them separate. He generally -- most noticeably in the Piano Concerto in F -- scales back the freedom of tempo that's usual in Gershwin. Working with not just an established European orchestra but the granddaddy of them all, the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, Chailly, seems to generate rapport with the musicians, perhaps because they're not forced to move too far out of their rhythmic comfort zone. Yet these aren't carefully controlled, non-jazzy readings of the sort one sometimes hears from Europe, and, for that matter, the U.S. For all Gershwin's jazz roots, the Rhapsody in Blue has not commonly been recorded by jazz pianists in its original form (although they've certainly used the work as a stimulus to further creative activity). The presence of Italian jazz pianist Stefano Bollani, joining Gewandhaus members in the 1924 "jazz band" scoring of the work by Ferde Grofé, results in an excellent, sparse reading of the score that reveals its small details and is intelligently enhanced by a modest amount of improvisation (justifiable in that Gershwin didn't write the piano part down, as he played it, until after the first performance). The Piano Concerto in F also receives a crisp, astringent but crystal-clear interpretation, and Bollani has improvisatory fun with the early Gershwin/Will Donaldson rag Rialto Ripples. On the symphonic suite Catfish Row, drawn on Porgy and Bess, Bollani does not play the orchestral piano part; the reading is all Chailly's, and it lurches oddly between fixed tempos and a bit of swing added to the rhythms; the naturalness of Gershwin's melodies goes missing. On balance, Gershwin fans will want this recording for the fresh Rhapsody in Blue alone. © TiVo
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Jazz - Released May 25, 2018 | Alobar

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - L'album du mois JAZZ NEWS
In 2008, Stefano Bollani declared his love for Brazilian music with the album Carioca. Ten years later, he is continuing the romance, this time with his own compositions. Alongside the Milianese pianist, we have great representatives of Brazilian music, such as Jorge Hedler on the double bass, Jurim Moreira on the drums, Armando Marçal and Thiago da Serrinha on percussion. And finally, the big-name guests, Caetano Veloso, João Bosco, Jaques Morelenbaum and Hamilton de Holanda. In short, it is a mouthwatering cast-list, making for some equally delicious music. What's particularly magical is the way that Bollani manages the gap between his native boot and faraway Brazil. Throughout Que Bom, he creates, alongside his collaborators, a meaningful original, with all the charms of a music whose subtle roots lie owe as much to Veloso, as to a nostalgia-tinged Nino Rota. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released August 25, 2006 | ECM

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released August 22, 2014 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS
On Joy in Spite of Everything, Italian pianist Stefano Bollani reconvened his longstanding trio with drummer Morten Lund and bassist Jesper Bodilsen. They recorded three previous dates together, the most recent being 2009's excellent Stone in the Water on ECM. Bollani has continually displayed -- from his dates with mentor Enrico Rava, on solo offerings, and with other leaders, that his playing and composing signatures are not only versatile and Catholic in their approach to jazz, but informed equally by the building blocks and possibilities of song itself. To that end, he has added two more players to this date, guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Mark Turner. The group performs on these tunes not only as a quintet, but in various quartets, trios, and duets. The tracks are long enough to stretch a bit and offer a wide, colorful palette of approaches. Opener "Easy Healing" has a calypso-cum-plena vibe that allows for lovely interplay from the rhythm section, but also between Frisell and Turner -- who is unusually lyrical rather than cerebral -- in his solo. It's followed by "No Pope No Party." With knotty, stop-and-start post-bop as its entryway, it swings throughout even when it moves afield; the dialogue between saxophonist and pianist is canny, with Frisell's solo melding straight-ahead swing with Americana. "Alobar e Kudra" is a piano trio that offers Bollani's fluid voicings, light and dark, balanced by shimmering ostinati as the rhythm section digs in and extrapolates on them. "Las Hortensias" is a long, moody ballad for a quartet with lovely understated work by the pianist. Turner explores the fringes of the melody and engages in counterpoint after his restrained solo break. The set's lengthiest number is "Vale." It commences skeletally as a nearly formless, languid, balladic improvisation. Bollani brings angles into view after his own solo, touching on post-bop, Nino Rota's delicate classicism, and the Italian jazz tradition, but it's Turner's solo that shines brightest. "Teddy," a duet with Frisell, was inspired by pianist Teddy Wilson, though its sparse, impressionistic opening would hardly suggest that. Nonetheless, in its sprightly, swinging dialogue, one can hear its subject's influence -- though musically it reaches much further. "Ismene" is a beautiful ballad, and a fine vehicle for Frisell's instinctive manner of chordal voicings and poignant lyrical fills. The closing title track for Bollani's trio is fleet, wildly creative post-bop that shows off just how intuitive the group's development has become in the last decade. Joy in Spite of Everything's myriad colors and moods illustrate its title -- even in the most melancholy places. As an album it reveals how confident and sensitive Bollani is, in full command of his musical range and technical facility -- as composer, bandleader, pianist, and arranger -- as well as in the depth of his honesty in emotional expression. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released August 23, 2013 | ECM

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Jazz - Released April 3, 2020 | Alobar

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Contemporary Jazz - Released August 29, 2006 | Stunt Records

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Jazz - Released February 26, 2016 | ECM

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Jazz - Released February 20, 2009 | Philology

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Contemporary Jazz - Released June 24, 2013 | Label Bleu

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Jazz - Released June 11, 1999 | Alobar

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Contemporary Jazz - Released August 29, 2006 | Stunt Records

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Contemporary Jazz - Released June 24, 2013 | Label Bleu

4 stars out of 5 - "[P]layful, cerebral and virtuosic in equal measure..." © TiVo
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Jazz - Released March 16, 2019 | Alobar

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Jazz - Released June 28, 2012 | Rai

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Jazz - Released October 7, 2006 | Alobar

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Jazz - Released August 12, 2019 | Alobar

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Contemporary Jazz - Released July 22, 2013 | Label Bleu

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Contemporary Jazz - Released December 10, 2013 | Label Bleu

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Jazz - Released December 1, 2009 | Philology

Stefano Bollani plays four separate duo concerts with drummer Roberto Gatto on this two-CD compilation., focusing almost exclusively on the works of George Gershwin. But even though this music is familiar to jazz fans, his approach to it is a bit different. He darts in and out of the theme of "But Not for Me," then tackles "Rhapsody in Blue" as a down-home boogie-woogie tune, while he meanders around quite a bit before working his way into "The Man I Love." His humor comes across especially in the wild romp through "Strike Up the Band," as if playing for fast-paced cartoon of the 1940s, including a detour into a bit of fast stride piano. An offbeat treatment of the standard "We'll Be Together Again" and Gatto's playful bop vehicle "Javierto" round out disc one. A second series of Gershwin tunes, recorded two years later, open the second half of this release. Many of the same songs are played, though it is a percussive, somewhat rambling "Summertime" that sounds freshest. The track listed asBollani's original "Ribaltone" is actually the well-known "Detour Ahead," played in a rather tense manner. Finally, there's an unusually eerie, spacious arrangement of "Body and Soul." While Bollani's adventurous spirit occasionally leads him astray, he is commended for trying to give these very familiar songs a fresh sound. Gatto provides sensitive support throughout each performance. © Ken Dryden /TiVo

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Stefano Bollani in the magazine