Artist: Enrico Pieranunzi     Album: The day after the silence     Label: AlfaMusic     Code: AFMCD165

The day after the silence

  • The day after the silence

  • Enrico Pieranunzi

  • 27 January 2014

  • AFMCD165

  • 8032050014012

  • iTunes, Jazzos, AlfaMusic

  • No covers downloadable for Guests

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  • Created on : 15 January 2014

  • Total songs : 10

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  • From: AlfaMusic

Press Release

"The day after the silence" is the first Album of the Cd series

ENRICO PIERANUNZI - The early years.

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THE DAY AFTER THE SILENCE - Piano solo, 1976

Il giorno dopo il silenzio: alle radici della musica di Enrico Pieranunzi
Quando Enrico Pieranunzi incise questo album, il primo in piano solo della sua carriera e il secondo in assoluto, l'Italia stava attraversando una fase politica esplosiva, di cui si sentivano gli effetti anche sulla nuova scena jazzistica, nella quale stava cominciando a ridursi lo iato con gli altri paesi europei; il jazz italiano si apprestava a vivere un vero e proprio rinascimento, che avrebbe portato a una crescita esponenziale nella quantita` di musicisti e nella varieta` delle tendenze. Dal periodo di isolamento dei grandi solisti come Basso, Valdambrini, Cerri, Kramer, modellati sul linguaggio americano, o degli artisti d'avanguardia, di marca piu` europea, come Gaslini, Intra o il Modern Art Trio, che davano respiro internazionale a un panorama nel quale c'era posto solo per l'eccellenza, si passo` cosi` a una fase ricca di talenti e proposte, nella quale Enrico Pieranunzi comincio` ad affermarsi grazie all'originalita` e alla maestria tecnica ed espressiva presenti nella sua musica e di cui questo Cd e` una chiara testimonianza. Negli anni settanta vennero infatti alla ribalta un gran numero di nuovi musicisti, che si affermeranno nel decennio successivo animando una scena completamente rinnovata, alla radice di quella odierna, e nasceranno anche le prime scuole popolari di musica, come quella del Testaccio, di cui proprio il pianista fu uno dei fondatori. Ma, nel clima generale di una fase storica cruciale, la sua figura rappresentava, per vari motivi, un'anomalia. In primo luogo, quelli erano gli anni contraddistinti dal binomio musica-politica, fondato su meccanismi a cui il pianista romano, allora ventisettenne, non aderi` mai: “ero un uomo di sinistra – ci racconta -, ma non mi sentivo completamente dentro la cultura marxista. Ritenevo la musica un'espressione prima di tutto umana piu` che politica, portatrice di una sua propria politica, quella della bellezza”. Poi, era insegnante di pianoforte principale (quello dei concertisti) in Conservatorio e quindi, all'epoca, era uno dei rari portatori di una cultura strumentale accademica, che peraltro sapeva utilizzare consapevolmente in ambito jazzistico trasformandola e ponendola al servizio delle sue improvvisazioni; inoltre, si presentava come un giovane dal linguaggio raffinato, per nulla incline agli slogan e in possesso di una vasta cultura, non solo musicale. Infine, restava fedele alla linea tonale-modale del jazz maturato a cavallo tra gli anni cinquanta e sessanta, sfuggendo le sirene della sempre piu` presente free music, che avrebbe invece praticato diversi anni dopo in maniera originale e quasi mai atonale. Lui stesso comprendeva di essere “un jazzista italiano 'strano', che a qualcuno creava problemi di collocazione”. Al di la` di questa premessa, alla sua uscita l'album ricevette un'accoglienza entusiastica da parte della piu` autorevole critica del tempo: “il musicista e` rigoroso e sorvegliatissimo -scriveva Walter Mauro- e si colloca tra i massimi esponenti del jazz italiano con un disco oltretutto esemplare”. “Tecnica magistrale, gusto impeccabile, fantasia straordinaria” sono le affermazioni che si trovavano nella recensione di Salvatore Biamonte, mentre sulla rivista canadese Coda si leggeva di lui come del “piu` interessante pianista attivo in Italia, dalle frasi articolate con grande cura, dalla mente agile come le dita”. Sulla francese Jazz Hot si rilevava “la grande sensibilita` per le sfumature e l'assenza di tendenze jarrettiane” e sulla cugina Jazz Magazine si sottolineava “l'enorme bagaglio tecnico, lo spirito del blues, la fenomenale mano sinistra e le doti di compositore e improvvisatore”. Un consenso, anche internazionale, che raramente in quegli anni i musicisti italiani potevano vantare, consacrato in patria dalle note di copertina del critico allora piu` influente, cioe` Arrigo Polillo, che evidenziavano la molteplicita` delle sue influenze, con cui giungeva alla creazione di uno stile originale. Aggiungerei contemporaneo, perche´ uno degli aspetti del presente jazzistico e` proprio la varieta` di riferimenti, lo sguardo senza pregiudizi a tutto il passato al fine di costruire in modo nuovo la musica di oggi, cioe` una maniera di concepire il jazz di cui Pieranunzi e` stato, in Italia, uno dei primi esempi. Tra l'altro, gli influssi piu` avvertibili nel suo linguaggio di allora erano quelli di McCoy Tyner e Chick Corea, soprattutto per la concezione armonica di tipo tonale- modale, mentre le sue composizioni si rivelavano gia` personali e interessanti, offrendo un florilegio di situazioni differenti che rifletteva un mondo musicale ricco di spunti e di fantasia. Una breve analisi della musica puo` cominciare da Prolusion, dal modalismo tyneriano, ma con i furiosi bassi che ricordano l'ultimo Tristano e il fraseggio costruito in progressione, proiettato costantemente in avanti e sorretto da una tecnica vertiginosa. Quindi, in linea con le idee del nuovo piano jazz degli anni settanta, troviamo Trichromatic Line, ossessivo e dalle microvariazioni quasi minimaliste, e A Gay Day, dalle vena folk e dal melodizzare europeo. Il titolo eponimo rivela invece un impressionismo fondato sul respiro ritmico delle frasi, che non perdono il beat ma danno ampiezza alla pulsione, caratteristiche in parte riscontrabili anche in Aurora, un brano quasi evanescente, dalle sfumate armonie quartali, e Blue Song, una delle prime ballad di Pieranunzi, ricca di suoni liquidi ed eseguita con uno spirito quasi “classico”. Our Blues e` una riflessione intorno a un genere musicale di cui sapeva mantenere la struttura narrativa affermazione-ripetizione-conclusione, mentre il sorprendente Blues Up si configura come uno pseudo boogie con vertiginosi tempi doppi e tripli che ricorda addirittura James P.Johnson. Entrambi riflettono il suo amore per il Blues che, come ci spiega, “faceva parte di me praticamente da sempre, da quando avevo messo per la prima volta le mani sul pianoforte. Era la prima forma musicale che mio padre mi aveva insegnato e blues erano i pezzi di Parker, Silver o dei Jazz Messengers sui quali, in modo totale e viscerale, avevo costruito il mio linguaggio”. Questa preziosa ristampa ci regala ancora due jazz waltz quali The Mood Is Good, in cui si potrebbe avvertire un fugace accenno evansiano, e l'incisivo The Flight Of Belphegor, le ultime perle di un gioiello musicale di grande interesse, che era doveroso recuperare e in cui troviamo quella parte della personalita` di Pieranunzi divenuta, negli anni, un retaggio sotterraneo, ma sempre vivo, nel suo ricco e immaginifico mondo musicale.


Maurizio Franco

 

ENGLISH

The day after the silence: The roots of Enrico Pieranunzi's music
This is Enrico Pieranunzi’s second album and his first for solo piano. When it was recorded Italy was going through an explosive period of political change, which also affected the new jazz scene, which was gradually moving closer towards that of other European countries. Italian jazz was about to experience a genuine moment of renaissance, which would lead to an exponential growth in the number of musicians and the variety of trends. From the period of isolation of the great soloists such as Basso, Valdambrini, Cerri and Kramer, who followed the American style, or the avant-garde artists such as Gaslini, Intra or the Modern Art Trio, most of whom had a more European flavour and who played at an international level in which there was only room for the highest levels of excellence, Italy entered a phase that was full of new talent and new ideas. In this context Enrico Pieranunzi began to make a name for himself thanks to his originality and the technical and expressive mastery, which is so evident his music and of which this CD is an eloquent testimony.
In the seventies a large number of new musicians came to the fore. They affirmed their role in the next decade by creating a completely renovated scene, which was the foundation of today's jazz panorama. At this time also the first scuole popolari or “popular schools” of music were set up, including that of Testaccio in Rome, of which Enrico Pieranunzi was one of the founders. Nevertheless, in the general atmosphere of this crucial historical period, the Roman pianist was an anomaly, for various reasons. Above all because those years were characterised by the combination of music and politics, based on ideologies which Pieranunzi, who was then in his twenties, never really adhered to. “I had left-wing sympathies - he tells us - but I did not entirely identify with Marxist culture.
I felt that music was first of all a human means of expression, rather than being something political, and that it could communicate one’s own personal politics of beauty”.
Also, since Pieranunzi taught the piano at various conservatories, dealing with the preparation of concert performers, he was at that time one of the few representatives of an instrumental and academic culture that he was able to consciously use in the context of jazz, transforming it and putting it at the service of his improvisations. In addition Pieranunzi gave the impression of being a cultured young man with a refined way of speaking, who was not at all prone to shouting slogans and who had an extensive and in- depth education, not just in the field of music. Finally, he had always remained true to tonal-modal structures and the forms of jazz developed from the late fifties to the sixties, thereby escaping the increasingly forceful siren song of free music, which he would practice only several years later in an original and almost never atonal manner.
Pieranunzi himself understood that he was, in his words “a rather strange Italian jazz musician who created problems of categorization for some people”. Nevertheless, upon its release in 1976 the album The Day after the Silence met with enthusiastic reviews by the most authoritative critics of the time. For example Walter Mauro wrote: “this musician is rigorous and highly controlled and he has become one of the greatest representatives of Italian jazz thanks to an exemplary record”. The review by Salvatore Biamonte praised Pieranunzi’s “masterly technique, impeccable taste and extraordinary imagination”, while the French publication Jazz Hot noted “the great sensitivity to nuances and the absence of Jarrettian tendencies” and another French journal Jazz Magazine emphasized the pianist’s “enormous technical know-how, spirit of the blues, phenomenal left hand and gifts as a composer and improviser”. Outside Europe the Canadian magazine Coda declared that he was “the most interesting pianist active in Italy, whose phrases are articulated with great care, and whose mind is as agile as his fingers”.
This was a level of consensus, also from abroad, that was accorded to very few Italian musicians in those years, and Pieranunzi’s success in his homeland was consecrated by liner notes to the record written by Arrigo Polillo, the most influential critic of the time, who pointed out the diversity of the pianist’s influences, thanks to which he had been able to create an original style. I myself would add that it was also a contemporary style, because one of the most salient aspects of jazz today is its variety of references and its tendency to look back at the past without prejudice, in order to construct today's music in a new way. Pieranunzi was in fact one of the first musicians in Italy to consider jazz in this manner. The most noticeable influences on his style at the time were those of McCoy Tyner and Chick Corea, especially due to the harmonic conception of a tonal-modal type, while his compositions were already very personal and interesting, offering a wide variety of different situations reflecting a musical world full of fantasy and novel imaginative ideas.
In making a brief analysis of the music on this CD we may as well start with the first piece: Prolusion. This track has a modal conception similar to that of Tyner, but it features furious bass notes that remind us of the last creations of Lennie Tristano and its progressively constructed phrasing constantly moves ahead and is supported by a dizzying technique. The title track The Day after the Silence exhibits an impressionism based on a succession of steadily breathing phrases that do not lose their rhythm but give a greater breadth and amplitude to the pulsing beat. These are features that are also partly to be found in Aurora, an almost evanescent track with delicate quartal harmonies, as well as in Blue Song, one of Pieranunzi’s first ballads, which is full of liquid sounds and is executed in an almost “classical” spirit. The third track is Trichromatic Line, which is rather obsessive with its almost minimalist micro-variations, fully in accordance with the new jazz piano ideas of the seventies.
The fifth track Our Blues is a reflection on a musical genre of which he has wisely maintained the narrative structure of statement-repetition-conclusion, while the astonishing Blues Up is a pseudo boogie played at a dizzying speed with double and triple tempos that sometimes even remind one of James P. Johnson. Both of these last pieces reflect Pieranunzi’s love for the blues that, as he explains, “has practically always been a part of me, ever since I first put my hands on the piano. It was the first musical form that my father taught me and the blues pieces of Parker, Silver and the Jazz Messengers were those on which I built my own musical language, in a total and visceral way”.
This valuable re-release also offers us the two jazz waltzes The Mood Is Good, in which one detects a fleeting reference to Bill Evans, and the incisive The Flight of Belfagor. The last track on the CD is A Gay Day, a fine piece with attractive melodic European folk qualities. These then are some of the pearls of this fascinating musical creation, which was long overdue for being re-released and re-evaluated. Thus we can now rediscover a part of Pieranunzi’s personality that over the years has become an underground legacy, which still lives on in this talented jazzman’s rich and imaginative musical world.


Maurizio Franco

 

Track List

The day after the silence


1 Prolusion

2 The day after the silence

3 Trichromatic line

4 Blue song

5 Our blues

6 Blues up

7 The mood is good

8 Aurora

9 The flight of Belphegor

10 A gay day

All composed by Enrico Pieranunzi
Publishing: C 2013 AlfaMusic Studio/Edi-Pan (Siae)

All Rights reserved.

Personnel

ENRICO PIERANUNZI: piano & compositions.

Produced by AlfaMusic under exclusive license of Edi-Pan S.r.l.
Production supervision: Fabrizio Salvatore

 

Recording Data

Recordings: September 8/9, 1976 at Emmequattro Studios, Rome - Italy

Sound engineer: Giovanni Fornari

Remastering: 2013 at Forward studios (Hi-Jazz), Grottaferrata (Rome) – Italy

Sound engineers: Carmine Simeone & Marcello Spiridioni, Alessandro Guardia.

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