Stefano Battaglia: Our Circular Song

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Our Circular Song

Artist

CD

Raccolto (ECM)

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Musicians:

Stefano Battaglia (piano),

Giovanni Maier (bass), Michele Rabbia (percussion)

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Composed by Stefano Battaglia, Giovanni Maier & Michele Rabbia

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Recorded: Udine, Italy, September 2003

Albumcoverstefanobattaglia-raccolto

Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Stefano Battaglia is exactly the opposite of a stereotypical extroverted Italian musician. In fact he says he was unsurprised when Manfred Eicher invited him to record for the ECM label, since he was already deep into the aesthetic of the German producer renowned for his so-called "Nordic sound." But in fact, though he was born in Northern Italy, Battaglia can hardly be called a Viking, and even though Jarrett was among his early influences, he now is closer to, for example, Marilyn Crispell. Battaglia is highly concerned with the interaction between his piano and the other instruments in his trio (characteristically the drummer's seat is held by a percussionist, for the sake of color rather than steady pulse). The group never resorts to the theme-solo-theme pattern, since Battaglia and his partners are more interested in building sonic miniatures in the moment than in fitting into pre-established formats. Their composing most of their tunes together relates to these options. Still, their playing is never abstract and, in the sound of each instrument as in the short melodic phrases that occur under Battaglia's fingers, one often finds the singing quality that devotees of stereotype may attribute not without cause to the Italian origin of these fine musicians. In their musical tradition this singing quality is called cantabile.

Reviewer: Thierry Quénum

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