Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Stefano Battaglia Trio: The River of Anyder

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Stefano Battaglia is the least famous of Italy’s major jazz piano players. He is more esoteric and more obviously grounded in European classical music than Stefano Bollani, Enrico Pieranunzi and Danilo Rea. But his chops and his poetic imagination place him in their company.

The first two pieces here display Battaglia’s deep intuition for drama and atmosphere. “Minas Tirith” and the title track are still and rapt and so slow they seem to circle on themselves. But Battaglia can also hit hypnotic prancing grooves, as on “Ararat/Dance” and “Sham-bha-lah.” His blend of freedom and elegance is unique. He trusts his creative impulses and might flash to a new idea and veer off course in a heartbeat. All velocities and amplitudes are subject to sudden change, yet nothing feels random.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published