Any pianist who can attract the likes of drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Drew Gress as part of a trio, and is joined by chic saxophonist Chris Potter on a few tracks, must have something going for him. Antonio Farao swings confidently on this set of original compositions, and although his playing is a tad derivative, there is no doubting his talent. The pianist fits in comfortably with his all-star colleagues, leaving little question that he has the ability to ride with the giants. His two-handed facility finds him equally at home with varied tempos and rhythmically challenging phrases. On the obstacle course he calls “Arabesco,” the pianist marches forward, backtracks, and then continues his progression, following a scintillating improvisation by the often dazzling Chris Potter. On “B. E.,” Farao plays it pretty and gentle, but not too sweet. Unlike some Italian jazz modernists, Farao does not add humor to the mix, and his compositions and solos do not covertly display the influences of his native land. Rather, his is a universal language that is as at home in Rome, Italy, as in New York City. While he adds little that is new, his solid technique and command should feel right at home anywhere on the globe; that is, where the universal language of modern jazz is spoken.
Antonio Farao (piano);
Chris Potter (soprano & tenor saxophones);
Drew Gress (bass instrument);
Jack Dejonette (drums)
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