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Stefano Battaglia: Pelagos (ECM)

Review of album by prolific Italian jazz pianist

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Cover of Stefan Battaglia album Pelagos
Stefano Battaglia album Pelagos

Pelagos, the seventh recording by Stefano Battaglia for ECM, is his best. That is a bold claim, given that Battaglia’s ECM discography is one of the permanent bodies of piano work in the new millennium. But Pelagos is an achievement of extraordinary depth, realized through an extraordinary range of artistic means.

It was made in two solo sessions on the same day at the Fazioli Concert Hall in Sacile, Italy, one “behind closed doors” and one live in concert. There are five Battaglia compositions, 11 improvisations and an Arabic traditional song. Tracks from the sessions are intermixed on two CDs. Applause at the live concert has been cut out. It sounds like one seamless performance.

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