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Special Encounter

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Album Review

Special Encounter is mostly a ballad set, featuring pianist Enrico Pieranunzi in close interplay with the sensitive bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Paul Motian. They perform three standards, five originals by the pianist, and three songs by Haden. Two of the most memorable numbers are by the bassist, with both "Waltz for Ruth" and "Hello My Lovely" deserving to become standards. The music overall is gentle, taken at a relaxed pace and lyrical but never sleepy. These musicians know how to play both quietly and with passion, a rare skill. Special Encounter is a subtle treat.


Born: 1949 in Rome, Italy

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A superior post-bop pianist influenced by Bill Evans and McCoy Tyner but long possessing his own sound, Enrico Pieranunzi is one of the top jazz pianists living in Italy. He began studying piano when he was five, partly from his father, who was a jazz-loving guitarist. Pieranunzi became a professional when he was 19, playing with trombonist Marcello Rosa's quartet. Since then, in addition to leading his own groups, Pieranunzi has worked with many top players (both Europeans and Americans) including...
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Special Encounter, Enrico Pieranunzi
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