CAM5001 2004-09-01

Track List

Double excursion 1 - 4:11
Double excursion 2 - 3:34
Doorways - 6:15
No waltz for Paul - 3:32
Utre - 2:08
Blue evening - 2:13
Anecdote - 6:11
Suspension points - 5:59
Double excursion 3 - 3:12
Words of the sea - 5:12
The shifting scene - 3:17
The heart of a child - 5:42
Utre (Alternative take) - 3:13


Enrico Pieranunzi - piano
Paul Motian - drums
special guest: Chris Potter - tenor and soprano sax

Recorded in Rome on 1, 2, 3 December 2002 at Forum Music Village


Doorways, a series of musical conversations between Pieranunzi and Motian, with Potter joining in on three numbers, is a decidedly different affair. The improvisations here run the gamut from free jazz explorations to more straightforward, swinging affairs, but the music created is never pedestrian. One is reminded of some the work Motian has done with other pianists, including Paul Bley, Keith Jarrett, and Bill Evans. Motian is never at rest, playing with a free time feeling almost exclusively, defining tempo and beat by dancing around their outer edges rather than merely stating them. Pieranunzi demonstrates a great deal of flexibility in his moods and an ability to play in a variety of styles. He’s the perfect partner for Motian, because his pianistic technique is also restless and searching, conversational, and never ordinary. Doorways is the sound of two masterful musicians listening to what the other is doing at all times.

For example, “No Waltz For Paul” is a playful waltz that doesn’t sound like a waltz at all, in part due to the choice of rhythmic emphasis employed by Motian. It’s at once familiar and unsettling. “Utre,” presented here in two versions, is relentless and kinetic for all of its 2:08 (or 3:13) running time. “Blue Evening” makes use of an angular melody and some close, clustery chords to convey a sense of peace that is more about calm in the midst of chaos than surface tranquility. “Anecdote” finds Potter articulating an Ornette Coleman-like theme that also has a certain folky quality. The group plows bravely into free jazz territory with vigor, and the results sound fresh and exciting rather than rehashing old developments.

There are many more introspective points on the CD as well. “Suspension Points” sounds like something that the Jarrett standards trio, sans bass, might have done. “The Heart of a Child” is a sumptuous ballad that finds Potter joining in with his muscular, yet sensitive, tenor work. The differences between these moments of quiet and the swirling, bristling improvisations of many of the pieces here make Doorways a great listening experience and provide a window onto the talents of pianist Pieranunzi, a musician whose work definitely should enjoy a wider American audience.

Marshall Bowden, Jazzitude