The more atmospheric pieces on Sicilian Opening ("La Grande Ilusion," "Appunti su Palermo," and "Lode al Silenzio") are in 6/8 or 3/4 time, and have a somewhat enigmatic, minor-keyed emphasis that recall the sort of piano trio music one would find on the ECM label. The percolating, odd-metered "Torre Ligny" is in a similar vein, but is based on a melody that sounds to me like some semi-forgotten Italian folk tune filtered through "Blue Bossa." The only cover tunes on Sicilian Opening come from a different source entirely – the Beatles songbook. "Blackbird" – already covered by Tony Williams and Jaco Pastorious – gets a lovely straightforward treatment, while "She’s Leaving Home" is approached in a somewhat roundabout manner with a Latin-tinged rhythmic base. Both versions are outstanding, and demonstrate that this trio really understands how to put a song across.
It’s hard to pin Bonafede’s influences down, though some of his phrasing reminds me of Chick Corea’s, and his rich, lovingly-played harmonies and superb comping have the flavor of Bill Evans. The latter are most evident on "Ideal Standard" – perhaps the CD’s lone straight-ahead jazz tune. Bonafede’s not a flashy, pyrotechnic sort of player, though he’s not exactly a ‘spare’ sort of player like Paul Bley, either. To my ears, he’s more like Richie Beirach or Bill Mays – eloquent, understated, often profound, and always worth listening to.