PIANO QUASI SOLO

 

“Piano Quasi Solo” is the latest album produced by the pianist and composer from Genoa, Fabio Vernizzi, which, through twelve songs allows us to live his varied and rich world of sound characterized by a wise compositional inventive and expressive piano technique.

The first piece “Infantile” I feel is a bit “like an echo of Schumanian  memories bringing to mind those magnificent pieces of “Album for  Youth”.  Vernizzi certainly does not hide this romantic matrix but surrounds it with his personal language, inserting swing rhythms and very expressive personal modulations. Everything revolves around a brilliant and poetic theme with romantic memories  which is repeated throughout the composition and is pleasant and original.

In “Pensieri” Vernizzi takes possession of another repertoire congenial to him, that of “Impressionism”  Debussian and Ravel, where one can recognise a meditative tone.  This meditative tone disappears with “Le Strade della Vita” where the musician enters into contact with Jazz schemes, offering us a song which is brilliant, lyrical and organic in all its parts, which develops from a simple but catchy theme to then be continuously transformed during the composition. “Ninos” also follows the composers jazz repertoire returning to the theme of childhood (inspired  by the tragedy of abandoned Brazilian children).  This leads us to another piece “David’s Samba”, which has a bright dance rhythm, where Vernizzi demonstrates how it  really is possible to have fun and entertain people through the keyboard

The pianist discards his composition vein for a moment with “Maracutu” written by Egberto Gismonti, to whom he wants to pay tribute in his CD.  “Looptango” instead, enshrines the coming together of the Jungle  and Tango genre and  alternates essential and dance melodies with dynamic and strong rhythmic components typical to the tango.  Here it is a more formal game. But with “Edivad” there is a return to music that does not want to be just music for the sake of music but also music that covers conceptual and philosophical meanings  This song, was, in fact, written almost  on the scale of classical jazz and wants to talk about life.  As it is written in the booklet – very well made . “A toast of hope to the waltz of life, the road on which one meets light and shadow, joys and sorrows” and it is for this reason that this piece is a game between clearer and darker tones, more earnest melodies and more relaxed ones.

“Iqbal”( track 9) is the leading character of the book “The Maker of Dreams” and the story of this thirteen year old child  who is killed and becomes a hero of courage against the exploitation of child labour, is told in jazz style but at the same time lyrical, poetic and extremely emotional and inspired. “Cambio Titolo” brings us back to a cheerful note from “Belle Epoque” making us breathe relaxed and cheerful, almost a modern ragtime, which Vernizzi renders contemporary and up to date.

With “Ricordi” we find a musician who is also a songwriter in this poetic song that resembles a hymn to life: “How many times I said I love you life”.  Yeah, how many times?  In order to know we have to browse through our memories and understand all we have lived through.

Finally, the last song, we have “Maya” where there is contamination of different stylistic languages such as ethnic and jazz as already mentioned, making it the synthesis of  everything we have heard so far, where the author has really displayed his musical eclecticism.

When we complain that Italy no longer has any composers, we should instead, look around and notice how the personality of Fabio Vernizzi, who managed to produce his masterpiece of eclecticism and conceptual sound,  produced his album alone, brings to light his great  technical, expressive and compositional capacity.

“Piano Quasi Solo”  recorded by Zerodieci Studios, masterized by Mark Canepa also involving the cooperation of Almamusica, is not, as the title suggests, just a piano solo, but much more: it is a set of styles from which the author draws his personal style to talk not only about music, but also  and above all, of life…yes because music can speak if you know how to make it speak.

With a training course geared to eclecticism, Vernizzi showcases his artistic arsenal, the result of the confluence between the academic idiom, jazz language and popular ideas, often motivated by South America.  The  result is convincing managing to ensure the success of a personal multi-stylistic merger even where the evocation of the reference models is more evident.  The album alternates a series of expressions, which, however, have the advantage of always succeeding and dispel any risk of superficiality supported by coherent composition, strong sense of rhythm, fluent expression which give a touch of happiness to the pianist’s work.

(David’s Samba, Infantile, Persieri, Iqbal, Edivad).

Jazz in this context takes on a more secluded position.(Le Strade della Vita, Ricordi, Cambio Titolo) reveal a matter which the author is certainly able to handle but uses simply as an idea to transcend. (the heartfelt tribute to Egbert Gismondi of Maracatu is certainly not by chance).  The great pleasure in listening to the disc will not be detrimental to the depth of the content. 

(November 20124 Cerini – JAZZ MUSIC)

 

Composer and pianist Fabio Vernizzi , in Piano Quasi Solo brings to the fore his rich and varied sound world which is romantic and sometimes swing.

To tell the truth: Due to the mass of recording companies that  meddle with jazz in Italy  there is a situation where

the sales level seems to be un-proportional to the amount of output so you cannot put the blame on anyone if a worthwhile title falls by the wayside. And if someone tries to get noticed without too many elbow shots, without the help of the usual well known guests that will guarantee some kind of publicity, probably shouted from the label on the

cover, or without investment by someone economically well off, the hope of making it, becomes” as dim as the light from a 30 watt bulb”. It is easy to say that a record presented on paper belongs to the category “will be ignored by most”, but it is hoped that the heartfelt appeal contained on this page conveys at least the attention it well deserves.

To get to the heart of things:;  Fabio Vernizzi, the Genoese pianist, plays amazingly well, and writes even better.  We could close here, maybe adding that if you love the sumptuous and discreet touch of who betrays strict classical exercises – like Pieranunzi – here you will find ample examples of great  “classical” jazz sound. Bringing back to mind  a great record from 10 years ago “Maya” which was too quickly forgotten. And again, one might add that the  useful curiosity to know “our own” has led them to collaborate with poets and song writers, progressive rock and international folk writers, theatre and cinema.  You can listen to all of this  in the 12 tracks of “Piano Quasi Solo” (A single cover of the contemporary Brazilian Egberto Gismonti) adding a bit of spice and some melodic villainy to Satie. Who has heard these songs live, can certify that the compositions are “open” to unpredictable playing time. Like any good jazz. 

(December 2014 Festinese –AUDIOREVIEW)

 

MAYA

 

The theme of Fabio’s music is fresh immediate communication. His world of composition is a mix of Chopin night perfumes and a breath of late Russian Romanticism.  It is the music of a young pianist who possesses an excellent spontaneous technique and a natural rhythm which well supports the overall harmonious development of his melodic and rhythmic compositions. If jazz is also, as I always  hope, synonymous with freedom of expression, Fabio’s work is definitely a new personal way of producing music which is alternative to Afro/American jazz already known to us.” (Riccardo Zegna)

 

…without a doubt one of the best record debuts of the year in the “borderline jazz” field;  the value is in the compositions which avoid the trap of the more or less abused standards “disguises”, and instead looks for folkloric echoes from every corner of the planet , dusky subtleties, strong rhythmic harp sounds….

(Guido Festinese –“Wold Music”)

 

… own songs in duo, along with the three piano solos  (nice to Notturno) donate an uncommon maturity which goes beyond the usual capacity of our young jazz musicians.  Actually the definition of jazz is a little closer to a formation (and especially a pianist) able to look to broader horizons a bit……

(Sergio Spada – “Suono”)

 

… with exquisite technique pianist Vernizzi punctuates and accompanies, bestows jazz variations and  minimals he concedes to a classicism of the Debussy mood.

(Ciro De Rosa “The Journal of Music-it)

 

Already the beginning of The Swimming Cow could well sweep away the “purists” of the kind:  It is a tight beat percussion which is anything but “Celtic”.  A seven year break from the previous record, for Birkin Tree, the best formation of its type in Italy: loved and respected even in the Emerald Isle where these notes are practically national heritage. Mind you, the pure Irish air arrives with guests Martin Hayes and Dennis Chill, but eh flickering vitality which is anything but formulaic of this collection comes from the inclusion of long-meditated piano (jazz musician Fabio Vernizzi), percussion, sax.  Furious jigs and reels and majestic slow airs, both traditional and not, become an elegant, plausible possible skein of music.  It is irresistible listening. 

(G.fe)

 

… What transpires is some classical influence and  awesome technical knowledge….

(Enzo Boddi- “Jazz”)

 

…The musical climate that reigns in the nine elements of this passage is, on the one hand full of cultural references (sometimes covered by an almost impressionistic air) and meditated ethnic experiences.  But on the other hand preserves a confidence, an expressive warmth of great intensity and simplicity, all detached from tags.  “Lilli” is a strong lyrical oasis (a brilliantly linear construction) exclusively for piano.  Therefore, contamination, happy impertinence in an encounter between languages is the final result of an appealing and refined style….

(Georgio De Martino – “Corriere Mercantile”)

 

….the qualities are the right ones and talent is not lacking in the songs which have strong flavours of the mainstream but are also reminders of a classical repertoire in some cases openings are wide-ranging in the use of soprano sax, a very evocative instrument which demonstrates the good quality achieved by Italian jazz in recent times…

(Antonello Mura – “Il Secolo XIX”)

 

…the potential of Fabio Vernizzi  emerges in many tracks, if not all, both as a composer and performer who bursts on the scene with Maya with Italian jazz music modules made with taste and with startling immediacy.

(Laura Magnani – “All About Jazz”)

 

LA MARCIA DELL’OMBRA

 

Given the unexpected quality of the work this record by Mr. Pozzani  arrives unexpected and pleasing surrounded by a carpet of absolutely organic sound and finally free from slavish jazz.  His companion Fabio Vernizzi pulls up  electronics which are never intrusive but precise almost to point out  the absolute harmony with the artists verses which are never trivial…..

(Luciano Marcolin. Blue radioveneto)

 

Poetry in music:  An expression often used and abused, which is this case proves to be even reductive.

He is Claudio Pozzani, and does not need any introduction because he is one of the most talented and appreciated Italian poets.

The album in question in titled “The March of the Shadow”, and is a collection of 12 poems surrounded by music composed by Fabio Vernizzi and Andrea Vialardis’ electronics.

A record to listen to for two reasons:

The first is that the songs included in it are precious gems.  Because this is poetry in the purest sense of the word, and the words of Pozzani can evoke images and feeling with the simplicity of natural gestures.

They know how to hurt and pet, know how to make you feel.                                                               

The second reason is closely related to the elegance with which the poet’s words are framed by musical compositions. Fabio Vernizzi, without ever questioning the primary role of the word, has managed to build a dress that fits like a glove around Pozzani’s poems which gives him an even greater strength.

And the reason a record conveys a message that is somehow different from a book is the instrument used. “it wants to reaffirm the priority of the oral aspect of poetry” as stated in the cover notes….

 

VIRGINIA 

 

... With exquisite technique pianist Vernizzi punctuates and accompanies, bestows digressions jazz and minimal, you grant to a classicism by the moods of Debussy ... 
(Ciro De Rosa - "The Journal of the music-it) 

Already the initial attack The Swimming Cow could displace profitably "purists" of the kind: it is a tight beat percussion anything but "Celtic." Seven-year break from the previous record, for Birkin Tree, the best training of its kind in Italy: loved and respected even in the Isle Verde where these notes are practically national heritage. Mind you, the pure air of Ireland arrives, with guests Martin Hayes and Dennis Chill, but the flickering vitality anything but formulaic of this collection comes from the inclusion of long-meditated piano (jazz musician Fabio Vernizzi), percussion, sax: jigs and reels so furious and majestic slow airs, of tradition and not, become an elegant, plausible skein of music possible. And irresistible listening.

(G.fe.)