Stefano Bollani is an artist of ebullient virtuosity, with uncommon sensitivity and range. The Italian pianist has proved to be at home on ECM improvising solo or leading a trio, as well as engaging in duos with Enrico Rava, Chick Corea and Brazilian bandolim player Hamilton de Holanda. With Joy in Spite of Everything – an album of new compositions by the pianist for a trans-Atlantic quintet – Bollani has made his most beautifully textured and infectiously lyrical statement yet. He recorded these nine pieces at New York City’s Avatar Studios with the Danish rhythm section from his Stone in the Water trio – bassist Jesper Bodilsen and drummer Morten Lund – plus two prominent American players and ECM intimates: guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Mark Turner. As its title reflects, Joy in Spite of Everything brims with an indefatigable lightness of spirit despite the inevitable shadows of life.