Chick Corea and Stefano Bollani: Orvieto

Album review
Chick Corea and Stefano Bollani: Orvieto

Chick Corea and Stefano Bollani


Label: ECM
Media: CD
Genre: Jazz

Late in his career, Andre Agassi sometimes found himself playing younger pros who modeled their tennis styles after his. Chick Corea, now 70, found out what that was like at the 2010 Umbria Jazz Festival, playing piano duets with 39-year-old Italian Stefano Bollani. In the notes to this lively 12-song set, Bollani admits to having “stolen” from the idol he faced on the Orvieto stage, adding: “I have the feeling we sound like one piano player with four hands.” For the listener, some of that impression of singularity comes from a crisp, brightly- edged mix that overlaps the keyboards in the middle of the wide soundscape. Mostly it derives from the seamless way these two technically dazzling pianists meld lightening-fast runs and brisk chords—to the point where it’s difficult to discern who’s playing what on tunes by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Fats Waller, and Miles Davis, as well as the romantic standards “Darn That Dream” and “If I Should Lose You,” plus original pieces and two free improvisations. Much of the action takes place at the net, so to speak, in rapid volleys of twinkling Art Tatum-like arpeggios. But Corea and Bollani also settle into more languorous explorations while sustaining the same riveting presence.

More Info

  • primary artist, Chick Corea
  • primary artist, Stefano Bollani
  • CD

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