One of the loveliest aspects of our odd cyber-life is the experience of meeting someone face-to-face — a person known up to that point only as words or sounds on a screen — and finding that the person is even more rewarding than the original simulacrum. In brief, “Isn’t it great when your Facebook friends are even more friendly in person?”
Guitarist Davide Brillante, from Bologna, is a shining example. He and his wife Monica — whom I met in Brooklyn a few weeks ago — are sweet, generous people. And although I had known Davide’s subtle guitar playing from YouTube videos, it wasn’t until I asked him to sit down and play some solos for me (for us, for JAZZ LIVES) that I saw how his gentle, inquiring soul comes right through the strings and notes.
Here are three touching performances. And a word before the viewer jumps in. Many of us are accustomed to fingerboard-burning guitar virtuosi who skitter all over like supercharged alien life forms. Their playing is both astonishing and exhausting.
Davide Brillante, although he can play with splendid speed and crisp articulation, is seriously in love with melody and its possibilities. So he will — on purpose — begin his performance as if he’s shyly meeting the song for the first time (introducing himself to the timid young woman across the dance floor at the sophomore prom) and gaining confidence in his ardent explorations. His approach makes wonderful musical sense, and when I was through listening to these three performances, I thought, “Davide is a true romantic!” I think you’ll agree.
AFTER YOU’VE GONE (at a lovely leisurely tempo with a ruminative verse):
LET’S FALL IN LOVE:
Thank you, Davide. Come back to New York soon! Bring Monica, of course!
May your happiness increase!