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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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STEFANO BOLLANI &
HAMILTON DE HOLANDA

O Que Sera

ECM 374 0459

 

 

1. Beatriz

2. Il barbone di Siviglia

3. Caprichos de Espanha

4. Guarda che luna

5. Luiza

6. O que será

7. Rosa

8. Canto de Ossanha

9. Oblivión

10. Apanhei-te Cavaquinho

 

Stefano Bollani – Piano

Hamilton de Holanda – Bandolim

 

One of my favourite young pianists – Stefano Bollani – first met Hamilton de Holanda at a festival in Bolzano, in South Tyrol, in 2009. Their rapport was immediately obvious, and they have collaborated several times since. Hamilton, who comes from Brazil, plays the bandolim, a ten-string mandolin.

Italian Bollani is already well-known as a jazz pianist of immense virtuosity – a talent matched by the bandolim-player. Their playing alternates between duetting and accompanying one another’s solos. Stefano makes a very responsive accompanist, often creating inspired, empathetic counterpoint with Holanda. This is evident in such tracks as Guarda che luna, which starts with a rhapsodic introduction by Holanda, who is soon joined by Bollani, supplying a perfect accompaniment to Holanda. Then they switch roles and Hamilton accompanies Stefano’s glittering piano solo. One of them adds an ecstatically ironic vocal commentary.

Luiza starts with a piano introduction which suggests we are about to hear Honeysuckle Rose, but it turns into a piece composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Several other tracks have a distinctive Brazilian mood – like Rosa and Oblivión, which are both wistful ballads. By contrast, Canto de Ossanha is an animated tour de force, with both musicians playing as if their lives depend on it – and adding their own percussion by beating on the wood of their instruments. Apanhei-te Cavaquinho is equally sprightly, with echoes of Tico Tico. Hamilton’s skill is as astounding as Stefano’s.

This CD is more exhilarating than some more “serious” ECM albums, perhaps because it was recorded before an enthusiastic audience at the Jazz Middelheim festival in Antwerp.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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