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02 September 2022
"... Inner jubilation spreads when blue notes creep into the bubbling classical melody lines. The sound slowly unfolding, leading into an order of stylistic patterns ad absurdum. "Voyage in Time" removes the gray veil from the December sky and lets the listener dream. "Jazzpodium, 07-2-2023
Voyage in time (a suite in nine movements) is conceived in the likeness of the suites of dances typical of the Baroque era. Some titles (Minuet, Courante, Pavane) may surprise the listener who associates our names with Jazz music. It is certainly true that our three previous albums were all Jazz albums. However, this fourth encounter - our second album for Challenge Records, after Common View (2020) - is a completely different recording, both in terms of line-up and material. The movements, composed by Jasper and arranged together during our recording session, reflect our shared love of classical music and combine classical forms with a very open improvisational approach. The result is a sort of journey back and forth between the musical languages of our time and of times past. A very special Voyage In Time, in fact, in which you are all invited to take part.
Enrico Pieranunzi was born in Rome in 1949 and has for many years been among the most significant and well-known protagonists of the international jazz scene. A pianist, composer, and arranger, he has recorded more than 70 albums under his own name, ranging from piano solo to trio, from duo to quintet. He has collaborated, either live or in the studio, with Chet Baker, Lee Konitz, Paul Motian, Charlie Haden, Chris Potter, Marc Johnson, and Joey Baron. Pieranunzi has been named Artist of the Year three times by the Musica Jazz magazine critics’ poll (in 1989, 2003, 2008). He also won the French Django d’Or prize as “Best European Musician” in 1997 and the German Echo Jazz Award in 2014 as “Best International Keyboard Artist”. Pieranunzi has performed his music all over the world in the most prestigious international festivals, from Montréal to Copenhagen and Buenos Aires, from Berlin and Madrid to Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Beijing. For the past ten years, he has been playing more and more in the USA, and has taken part in the San Francisco and Spoleto (Charleston, South Carolina) festivals. He has also been regularly featured in the most important New York clubs, especially the Village Vanguard, where in July 2010 he recorded the album Live at the Village Vanguard with Marc Johnson and Paul Motian. This is the first album ever recorded by an Italian musician (and one of the very few by European musicians) in the legendary diamond shaped 7th Avenue venue. A second Live at the Village Vanguard, recorded in 2015 with Donny McCaslin, Scott Colley and Clarence Penn, will be released at the end of 2016. Enrico Pieranunzi has composed over 300 pieces, many of which have become standards performed and recorded by musicians all over the world (Night Bird, Don’t Forget the Poet, Fellini’s Waltz).
“Pieranunzi can swing – crisply and surely. But in those tempos, he remains his lyrical self. His music sings” (Nat Hentoff, 1990)
“Enrico Pieranunzi breathes new life into contemporary jazz” (Ray Spencer, Jazz Journal International, 1992)
“Remember the name, me, get lost in the music” (Josef Woodard, Jazz Times, 2000)
... Inner jubilation spreads when blue notes creep into the bubbling classical melody lines. The sound slowly unfolding, leading into an order of stylistic patterns ad absurdum. "Voyage in Time" removes the gray veil from the December sky and lets the listener dream.
... From the grave "Pavane" to the solemn "Sarabande" to the "Finale", the virtuoso duo creates a jazzy version of the suite consisting of nine dances.
... The Italian pianist accompanied numerous jazz giants and recorded almost a hundred albums under his own name. But how much the suite "Voyage In Time" of his duo partner, bassist Jasper Somsen, inspires him, you can feel in every note of the delightful performance...
Fono Forum, 10-11-2022
... Conceptually bold, it is executed with great musicality, a perfect marriage of classical forms and open improvisation...
... Far away from any routine, Pieranunzi and Somsen search for unplayed places, for new territory on this side - and they find these rare as well as precious oases of inspiration again and again. This is dissolute melancholy at its peak.
... Somsen has written a nine-part suite in which the two bring their musical storytelling to sparkle along the formal lines of baroque dances... Everything else is illustrious art of playing, is a fine feeling for the breath of the counterpart...
... But Enrico Pieranunzi - Jasper Somsen ultimately act much more tenderly and much less oriented to jazz. Especially songs like "Sicilienne" prove that. And when then Jasper Somsen delicately strokes his bass, then it becomes chamber music cozy, with the "Finale".
... "Voyage In Time" is a nine-part suite in which through-composed counterpoint and improvisation alternate with each other and thus cross the bridge between jazz and classical music again and again...
Concerto, Austria, 01-10-2022
... the two combine the classical forms of composition with their freely designed improvisational approach. Thus the titles glide practically seamlessly from 'old' dance rhythm to on-the-fly, spontaneous interpretation and back.
... The result is soulful sounds and music with a lot of room for development. It also shows how naturally different musical worlds can be playfully combined with each other.
The result is a sort of round trip between the musical language of today and that of the past. We allow ourselves to be taken with pleasure on this journey of a beautiful sweetness, a great romanticism, a pleasant inventiveness between baroque references and the treatments of a soft and fluid jazz. We embarked with enthusiasm. We are waiting for you.
... The music is a testament to the maturity, experience, refined taste and precise performance of these two great instrumentalists.
The Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi has been moving confidently between jazz and classical music for decades. For his new album "Voyage In Time" (Challenge/Bertus), Dutch bassist Jasper Somsen has composed a nine-part suite for him that is based on the dance suites typical of the Baroque period...