I know NADA regarding Enrico Pieranunzi, save for the things that count: he plays piano, has good taste in friends/playing-partners and he’s from Italy. I should add Pieranunzi plays the piano really well - nearly all of Special Encounter consists of ballads (mostly originals, at that!) bringing him in touch with his inner Ahmad Jamal and his inner George Shearing. Pieranunzi plays with unusual sensitivity - he’s wistful, tender and ruminative but never gooey-sentimental. He has a great grasp of spaciousness - notes rise and fall like wisps of smoke, but he’s never vague or abstract. While it’s unlikely anyone would mistake him for swingers like Jaki Byard or Red Garland, Pieranunzi has a engagingly lyrical, forward-motion impetus to his piano playing (that’s the G. Shearing influence, I’d say). There’s no water-treading, no heavy-handed tension/release or dramatic clustering of notes, just sublimely harmonious, deceptively easygoing post-bop jazz piano du trio. Of course, credit is due his co-conspirators - Charlie Haden plays maybe the most earthy, supple acoustic bass on our planet (and he contributed three tunes) and Paul Motian approach to percussion is almost analogous to Pieranunzi’s on piano. (For those not hep to the jive, Motian is a cat what knows how to make great keys-players sound even better. He’s been a "regular" with Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett and Marilyn Crispell.) Drink deep from this well, piano trio fans!
Artist / Group Name:Enrico Pieranunzi
CD Title:Special Encounter
Genre:Straight-Ahead / Classic
Record Label:Cam Jazz
Tracks:My Old Flame; Waltz For Ruth; Loveward; Secret Nights; seven others.
Musicians:E.P.: piano;Charlie Haden: bass;Paul Motian: drums. Recorded in Rome, March 2003.