THE SUM OF STEFANO BOLLANI’S TENACITY

indojazzreview utuh-logoInstituto Italiano di Cultura Jakarta

The article first appeared on Indonesia Jazz Review, 29 April 2015.

Stefano Bollani simultaneously plays with two piano instruments.

In 1996 Stefano Bollani chose to drop all he has worked for in pop since he first took a professional path at his teenage years, and in his solo concert at Usmar Ismail Hall, Jakarta, 28 April, the Italian pianist showed his aptitude, more of nurtured than inherent, after over 15 years of dedication in jazz. He left traces of his childhood aspiration to become a singer by singing a couple of songs in melancholy for Jakarta audience, meanwhile he was sure not to let them miss the anticipation having him played out one of his best talents: swing, especially after his last performance in Jakarta seven years ago.

He played an American instrumental tune Out of Nowhere, besides several other, most notably was the Frank Zappa’s Bobby Brown, an amusing way to keep the audience stay up throughout the the second half of the one and a half hour concert. Bollani’s entertaining skill besides the impeccable stage play proved to be a crucial part in making his Asian tour successful. Taking a direct flight from Hong Kong, Bollani did not show any breakdown in a tight schedule. From blues, tango, to two of his own classic-influenced compositions, and supported by Boston grand piano while often utilizing a keyboard beside, Bollani took solo jazz piano concert to a new presedence.

He summed it in the tenacity of playing a spontaenous repertoire after fulfilling ten favorite songs from the audience, made up in majority of Italian tunes, such as Nino Rota’s grandiose composition Love Theme for Francis Ford Coppola’s movie Godfather. but Bollani seemed unhesitant picking up other songs, singing the Brazillian bossa-novaDesafinado in articulate Portuegese, and the original version of Cuban song Quizas in Spanish. Stefano Bollani released his first solo album in 2006, adding up around 30 albums throughout his career, including those he recorded with Enrico Rava, one of the Italian jazz most popular jazz players who is also a big source of influence in Bollani’s career in jazz.

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