Enrico Rava Jazzpar 2002 Sextet: Happiness Is

Denmark’s annual Jazzpar Prize is reputedly the largest monetary jazz award in the world, and past recipients include Roy Haynes, Lee Konitz and David Murray. Enrico Rava became the Jazzpar’s 13th recipient in 2002, and Happiness Is… (Stunt) chronicles performances from three of his concerts in Denmark. His warm trumpet work is featured in a duo with Italian pianist Stefano Bollani, who also appears in a quintet with trombonist Gianluca Petrella and the Danish rhythm section of bassist Jesper Bodilsen and drummer Morten Lund. Guitarist John Abercrombie makes the group a sextet for the majority of the album. Compared to Rava’s subdued 2004 release Easy Living (ECM), this album sounds wound up. The group interacts more like an established unit rather than one that had only rehearsed for three days prior to performing. Along with a reading of “Nature Boy,” they sound especially together on the 18-minute, 3/4-lope of “Happiness Is to Win a Big Prize.

Mike Shanley

Mike Shanley has been a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh and gladly welcomes any visitors to the city, most likely with a cup of coffee in one hand. Over the years, he has written for several alternative weekly papers and played bass guitar in several indie rock bands. He currently writes for the bi-weekly paper Pittsburgh Current and maintains a blog at shanleyonmusic.blogspot.com.