May 10, 2011 21:30
Stazione Leopolda di Firenze | IT
Stefano Bollani, piano
Mirko Guerrini, conductor and saxophones
Orchestra della Toscana
Music by Mirko Guerrini and Stefano Bollani
Stefano Bollani, that mixture of genius and recklessness, continues to amaze and delight his audiences. Further proof of the fact is that over the last few months the musician has managed to move with the greatest of ease from Frank Zappa’s repertory to Gershwin’s jazzed-up compositions, meanwhile appearing on television, on the covers of glossy magazines, and in all Doctor Djembè’s irresistible charm as well.
We are not, therefore, surprised to find him “with strings” – as in Charlie Parker’s historical disc – surrounded by the ORT string orchestra, in a project that sees him once more in company with the faithful Mirko Guerrini. Guerrini himself, here in the role of saxophonist, composer, arranger and conductor, is also the connecting point between two worlds that are widely different yet closely complementary: the worlds of jazz and classic music. It is in fact thanks to him that the orchestra becomes a key element in the project and “duets” with Bollani, elegantly and dialogically amplifying his harmonic forays up and down the black and white piano keys.
The sensations pervading the concert pieces range from the classic notes of the Mozart orchestra through the more modern sounds of twentieth-century Europe, right up to jazz influences from the American avant-garde of recent decades. These are cues for improvisations by Bollani, whose inspiration and rigour change the whole into an opera in progress, and set him apart in a class of his own.