Fornarelli is an Italian pianist whose compositions transcend style and genre, instead embracing a dynamic tension of musical thought and lyrical emotion. Post-modern contemporary fusion is, at best, a feeble attempt to try and place this musical square peg in the proverbial round whole. To place Fornarelli in the catchall category referred to as European jazz would be far too easy, unlike Fornarelli's music. Room of Mirrors opens with a dynamic tension of passionate and thoughtful (if not slightly blues-infused) harmonic progressions that are emotionally captivating while moving forward with a sense of musical purpose. Fornarelli's trio demonstrates a unique cohesion, while playing just slightly on the edge of the more traditional western form and functionality of improvised music.
"Coffee And Cigarettes" swings playfully, the understated finesse of drummer Gianlivio Liberti pushing Fornarelli and bassist Luca Bulgarelli to again reach the state of one harmonious sonic train of thought. Bulgarelli's lyricism is showcased on "Dreams and Compromise," where the bassist exhibits an infectious sense of swing while still maintaining the ensemble approach. Fornarelli's Fender Rhodes and synthesizers, along with Bulgarelli's use of electronics, are virtually transparent, never distracting from this release's evocative approach throughout. Liberti and Bulgarelli add incredible richness of texture and inventive tonality without ever bordering on self-indulgence.
A highly spatial consciousness is prevalent in Fornarelli's compositions, demonstrating a keen sense of melody that places this innovative if not uniquely original musician well outside the European jazz theater and more comfortably into the artistic world of lyrical self expression that so many strive for but never achieve.