Paris-based pianist Giovanni Mirabassi has been recording since the mid-1990s, his output including tributes to Jacques Brel, Léo Ferré, and Serge Gainsbourg, as well as solo outings and trio journeys. His 21st release, Summer’s Gone, is one of the latter. Joined by bassist Gianluca Renzi and drummer Lukmil Perez, Mirabassi explores terrain familiar to fans of Bill Evans, Enrico Pieranunzi, and, most pointedly, Chick Corea. This trio paints in lithe textures, shimmering melodies, and illuminated improvisations, the music so delicate you practically expect it to melt in the sun. Mirabassi’s style is as thoughtful and crystalline as that of just about anyone on the ECM label, yet it’s also ceaselessly frothy, focusing on clear skies over dark musings.
“A Dirty Job” mines a gentle backbeat and a light-footed melody that brings hummingbirds to mind. While Mirabassi lends a sweet touch to his inner Corea, Renzi plucks a mile a minute during his solo, recalling John Patitucci’s energetic forays. “Quasi Quasi” could be a lullaby; “Ausencias” recalls one of Corea’s solo pieces from Light as a Feather or the original Return to Forever. “My Corean Heart” throws caution to the curb—it’s so drenched in Chick-like phrasing, pacing, chordal flow, and bubbling rhythms that you wouldn’t be surprised if the man himself strode into the room.
Mirabassi, Renzi, and Perez are excellent musicians with a unified trio vision. Let’s hope they find their own vision on album number 22.