Stefano Bollani: Napoli Trip

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COMPOSERS: Stefano Bollani
LABELS: Decca Records
ALBUM TITLE: Stefano Bollani
WORKS: Napoli Trip
PERFORMER: Stefano Bollani (piano), Nino Gori (clarinet), Daniele Sepe (sax, flute), Manu Katché (percussion)
CATALOGUE NO: 479 2713  


The Italian virtuoso pianist Stefano Bollani was packed off to the Florence Conservatoire at the age of 11 to develop his precocious talent for jazz. Happily it did nothing to cure him of his sense of fun or adventure. Since those early days he’s cultivated a form of European jazz that frequently has more to do with commedia dell’arte than New Orleans or New York. Naples is Bollani’s muse for this new recording on the Decca label and the series of 16 short sketches describes the city in all its anarchic, volcanic and also classical beauty. With cameos for Italian songwriters, shot through with bravura slapstick moments or groove-based jazz oozing from Bollani’s Fender Rhodes, Napoli Trip has something for everyone. From the opening melancholy ‘Nu Quarto ’e Luna’, and its scratchy vinyl background, to the lyrical mandolin of Hamilton de Holanda on ‘Reginella’, there’s a surprise around every corner.


Garry Booth