“ In his approach to Scarlatti's music, Pieranunzi has carefully avoided what would immediately seem logical to the listener; that is, to revisit in the jazz key the music of this Neapolitan composer. ”
Enrico Pieranunzi Plays Domenico Scarlatti (May 5, 2009) presents the marvelous fusion of two worlds: the creative sensibility of Pieranunzi, whom is considered by most to be Europe's best jazz pianist, and the brilliance of Scarlatti, the most original composer/improviser of the Baroque harpsichord and the most important classical composer of the 18th century from Italy. In October, Pieranunzi previewed a few selections at the Italian Cultural Insitute in New York City in a rare visit to the United States. On May 6, 2009, he will return there for a CD release performance and reception to celebrate the recording's May 5 release by CAM Jazz. It is the label's twelfth release by Pieranunzi and the first of two releases by him in 2009.
After many recordings in duo or trio form, this fearless Roman artist takes on a unique and unprecedented challenge: improvising on the sonatas of the famous classical composer Domenico Scarlatti. It's a very significant leg of the journey, and a long awaited one" says Pieranunzi in an interview with Andrea Scaccia included in the liner notes of the CD. I've always cultivated classical piano along with jazz; two paths that have characterized my musical life since the beginning. I've always kept them separate in public but now, thanks to Scarlatti, I've been able to bring them together." The decision to devote himself to Scarlatti was a natural evolution. Scarlatti is a musician I've always deeply loved; books of his sonatas have always been by my piano. I could list so many reasons for this love affair - his formal imagination, rhythmic vitality, passion, Mediterranean flavor. His sounds contain the colors of the Italian sky and sea, our desire for life and love and our yearning."
In his approach to Scarlatti's music, Pieranunzi has carefully avoided what would immediately seem logical to the listener; that is, to revisit in the jazz key the music of this Neapolitan composer. I think all attempts at what they call 'jazzification' have been failures, both in terms of jazz as well as the classical material they appropriate". Pieranunzi does find something that unites Scarlatti's music to jazz. It's moody, prismatic, full of movement, tracing a kind of life-flow, like jazz improvisation. And it is a well-known fact that Scarlatti was an extraordinary improviser. His language too, although written down on paper, shares with jazz a kind of imposing, pagan physicality. This clearly comes out in his many ingenious thematic motifs, which are rhythmic patterns, melodic nuclei, and at times, simple intervals not theoretically worked out but that his hands created directly on the keyboard and then later fleshed out and embellished."
Born in Rome in 1949, Pieranunzi received the Django d'Or Award for Best European Jazz Musician in 1997 and was voted Musician of the Year in the Musica Jazz critics' poll in 2003. Pianist, composer and arranger, his formative years embraced both classical and jazz piano. He's recorded more than 60 CDs as a leader in all formations: solo, duo, trio, quartet and quintet. In addition to recording many albums, he has originated more than 200 compositions including Night Bird," recorded several times by Chet Baker. He's been featured at the most important international festivals and has performed in concert and/or recorded with Baker; Lee Konitz; Paul Motian; and Charlie Haden among others.
Enrico Pieranunzi Plays Domenico Scarlatti, his twelfth for CAM, joins six albums recorded by the pianist with his longtime American trio mates, Marc Johnson and Joey Baron; Jazz Roads, a collection of recordings from 1980; Doorways (with Paul Motian and Chris Potter), Special Encounter (in trio with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian), Fellini Jazz (with Wheeler, Potter, Haden and Motian) and to Duologues (duo with Jim Hall). Dream Dance with his trio will be released later this year.
About CAM Jazz
CAM Jazz was launched in the year 2000 in order to group all of its jazz productions: past, present, and future. It is dedicated to releasing vintage jazz recordings from an immense repertoire and producing new jazz-style recordings consisting of both original compositions as well as cover versions of memorable film themes, musicals and songs, all performed by some of the most outstanding Italian and international jazz performers of our times. CAM Jazz is a division of the C.A.M. Group (Creazioni Artistiche Musicali): an independent music publisher and record label based in Rome that has produced over 2800 soundtracks of Italian and international films in its 45+ years of activity and has worked with over 500 composers internationally.