Stefano Bollani Trio - Stone In The Water
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Stefano Bollani Trio
Stone In The Water
ECM ( www.ecmrecords.com )

The Italian pianist Stefano Bollani is joined by a bass and drum duo from Denmark in what looks to be an intriguing program of original work alongside covers of Brazilian and French compositions. The solo piano opening of a Caetano Veloso song sets a great mood. The playing is open, sparse, and often beautiful with the three players sometimes playing tightly together, other times each wandering down their own path before reforming as one unit. The Veloso cover and the originals by Bollani and bassist Jesper Bodilsen fare well under this treatment.

The downside of this recording is that this same mood is conjured again and again with little variety. Most of individual tracks are satisfying when they stand alone, but when played end to end over the length of the entire album, the freshness turns flat.

This singular treatment does not always work. It's unclear how either adding bass and drums to a Poulenc improvisation or taking away the bossa nova from an Antonio Carlos Jobim classic could ever be good ideas. This makes for a recording that contains a number of well-played, well-produced, but similar sounding tracks that lose their lustre over the course of 60 minutes, mixed with a pair of disappointing covers. - Greg Harness

You can hear some of the music from the trio on Myspace

CD and MP3 available from cdroots

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