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Bill Evans Compositions, Vol. 2

Stefano Battaglia

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Album Review

On this second volume investigating the works of Bill Evans, Italian pianist extraordinaire Stefano Battaglia pulls some of Evan's best-known work out of the closet (it's amazing that some of this was left off the first volume) and concentrates on the area that most pianists leave out in interpreting him: his tenderness. Battaglia's approach is a light one, not musically, but emotionally. He understands, on a cellular level it seems, that the emotion Evans put into his compositions wasn't there for effect, it was part of the tunes themselves. The readings here of "Turn Out the Stars," "Peace Piece," and "Story Line" reveal the softness in Evans' approach to his own tunes without being corny or stilted. There is a true generosity in Battaglia's playing that is underscored by the rhythm section of drummer Aldo Romano and bassist Paolino Della Porta, who obviously take their cues from the last Evans trio. What Battaglia "adds" to the work of Bill Evans would be arguable except for the following: his nuance and his unwillingness to sacrifice Evans' particular melodic genius for the sake of a sideways, more intellectually "challenging" interpretation. He understands the material deeply enough to know it doesn't need to be muddied up with either extra notes or unwanted tempo shifts — a good listen to the up-tempo "Displacement" reveals this. As with its predecessor, this volume is essential for Battaglia fans to be sure, but arguably it is also necessary for fans and students of Evans' canon as well.

Biography

Born: 1965 in Milan, Italy

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Italian pianist Stefano Battaglia has recorded regularly for the Splasc(h) label since his debut as a leader in 1987, Things Ain't What They Used to Be. By that time, he had been playing piano for 15 years and had graduated from the Conservatory of Milan three years prior. Active in both classical and jazz music, he has performed at a number of European festivals of each, including...
Full Bio
Bill Evans Compositions, Vol. 2, Stefano Battaglia
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  • $9.90
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 1993

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