Stefano Battaglia Trio - The River of Anyder (2011) flac
Artist: Stefano Battaglia Trio
Title Of Album: The River of Anyder
Year Of Release: 2011
Label: ECM Records
Catalog #: 2151
Quality: FLAC (log,cue,tracks,artwork)
Time: 79:16 min
Size: 383 MB
1. Minas Tirith
2. The River Of Anyder
3. Ararat dance
4. Return To Bensalem
5. Nowhere Song
9. Ararat prayer
10. Anywhere Song
The pure water of the Anyder River flowed through Sir Thomas More's "Utopia". Italian pianist Stefano Battaglia celebrates it here, in music uncontaminated by jazz trends: "I set myself the task of writing songs and dances uninfluenced by the sophistication of contemporary musical languages, striving to shape pieces that might have been played on archaic instruments a thousand years ago. I think of it as a kind of music before the idioms." If the piano trio remains a modern institution and the improvisational group understanding shared by Battaglia, Maiore and Dani cannot help but be of-the-moment, the musicians have nonetheless made an album that feels "timeless".
The compositions here are mostly named after mythical and legendary locations, each of them conferring specific atmospheres. Fictional and real-world place names are interspersed. From Minas Tirith, Tolkien's White City, the players travel, via the Utopian river, to the sacred mountain of Ararat and onward to Bensalem, mythical island in Sir Francis Bacon's New Atlantis, somewhere to the West of Peru, where an enlightened citizenry labours to improve man's understanding: "We have twelve that sail into foreign countries under the names of other nations (for our own we conceal), who bring us the books and abstracts, and patterns of experiments of all other parts."
In his selection of literary and philosophical quotes for the CD booklet, Battaglia casts a net that similarly brings far-flung traditions into juxtaposition, referencing Rumi and Rimbaud, Hildegard von Bingen and Black Elk of the Oglala Sioux: these are just some of the names that fire the composer's imagination. Yet it is not a musical patchwork that he has created from such influences but an original concept that seems to spring from a strong, organic centre. The trio has its own deep pulses and its own methodology. There is a robust lyricism at work as modal improvisations unfold. CD booklet includes text fragments from Thomas More, Jalal ad-Din Rumi, Francis Bacon, Arthur Rimbaud, Hildegard von Bingen, and Black Elk, plus photography by Caterian di Perri.
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