Title - 'Orvieto' (ECM)
Artist - Chick Corea & Stefano Bollani
'Orvieto' is Chick Corea and Stefano Bollani in their first recorded collaboration. A document of a most spirited show in Orvieto’s Teatro Mancinelli last December, recorded live at the Umbria Jazz Winter, it marks Corea’s first new ECM date in more than a quarter-century.
American jazz pianist, keyboardist, and composer Chick Corea brings us some tinkling piano keys to open with 'Orvieto Improvisation No. 1,' a three minute journey that shows us what he and Stefano Bollani (an Italian jazz pianist from Milan) improvising together can do. Next is another great performance in the shape of Jobim and Buarque's 'Retrato Em Branco E Preto (Portrait In Black And White),' which at nearly seven minutes in length crisply still flows along.
Then comes the flamenco-influenced traditional tune 'If I Should Lose You,' a track that playfully bounces back and forth between them, allowing for a vibe of pure fun to take ahold of the moment. 'Doralice' is next and boy, what a vibrant swashbuckle of a duet this is. The freely improvised segments do sound so spontaneous here not at all pre-arranged, and the audience loves it upon completion.
Next up is Fats Waller's 'Jitterbug Waltz' which allows for Corea's fast fingers to twinkle from the off here in fine style. With the longest round of applause thus far dying down, we then move into the more subtle 'A Valsa da Paula' - a Bollani track that is as beautiful as anything you might have heard go before it in life.
As we head into Part II of the evenings performance, we get brought to the musical fore 'Orvieto Improvisation No. 2,' which starts off hard, but soon mellows. Miles Davis's 'Nardis' is next and bleeds wonderfully into the delicately-played track 'Este Seu Olhar.' A track that showcases Stefano Bollani's own piano art work, the lovely swing ballad 'Darn That Dream' is followed by the most inventive track of the night, 'Tirititran.' Featuring some gentle hand claps, some piano slaps, and some great ivory interplay, the song is elegance personified.
After another hefty bout of applause we progress onwards with album closers in the form of Corea's own 'Armando's Rhumba' (a four minute song that actually comes complete with three more minutes of audience applause for the two inspired pianists!), and a truly robust 'Blues In F.'