Tag Archives: piano duets

STEPHANIE and PAOLO: FOUR HANDS, LIGHT SPIRITS, BEAUTIFUL MUSIC

It’s always gratifying to find people who Play Well Together, who know how to support as well as take the lead — like great graceful dancers.  Two eminent examples are stride / swing pianists Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi, who have created a new CD called TWO FOR ONE, which always sounds like a good bargain.

Many piano duets — especially of stride players — can unintentionally turn assertive, with one musician attempting to outdo his / her partner, Faster, Louder, More, More, More.  The audience stands and cheers for Swing Armageddon, and it is of course technically dazzling . . . but occasionally more belligerent (in a playful way) than musical.

None of that for Stephanie and Paolo, who revel in a gorgeous lightness of being on a beautiful assortment of songs, tempos, and approaches: I NEVER KNEW / THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR THE SUNRISE / ‘DEED I DO / TEMPTATION RAG / ST. LOUIS BLUES / BINK’S WALTZ / EXACTLY LIKE YOU / I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS / AFTER YOU’VE GONE / BEGIN THE BEGUINE / CHARLESTON / TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE / RUNNIN’ WILD / WE’LL MEET AGAIN.

It’s a wonderful recital, full of delicate subtleties of light and shade.  You can learn more about their duets here.

I can’t play you the CD (you’ll have to take care of that on your own) but here are two videos of this amiable pair in concert, gracious yet never timid, precise but never stiff.

The first video was recorded by Tom Warner in January 2012 in Leawood, Kansas, and the second at a house concert in Palos Verdes, California, in December 2011:

For more details on their very gratifying CD duo recital, be sure to visit Stephanie’s site.  And while you’re discovering more about this young woman’s music, sign up for her email newsletter, with videos and more information to follow.

May your happiness increase.

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PIANO FIREWORKS AT CHAUTAUQUA (from EHUD and ROSSANO)

It was Sunday afternoon and Jazz at Chautauqua had ended.  Guests had flown to their cars, hoping to get a head start on the long drive home.  The staff at the Athenaeum Hotel was putting the place back together, rolling tables back into storage, tidying up.  I was waiting with a group of musicians for the bus that would take us to Buffalo Airport. 

Suddenly I became aware of spirited piano playing.  That in itself wouldn’t have been exceptional, for the party featured Keith Ingham, John Sheridan, Mike Greensill, Ehud Asherie, and Rossano Sportiello.  But the playing was coming from the piano in the hotel parlor — a romping rendition of ALL GOD’S CHILLUN GOT RHYTHM.  It sounded like Rossano.  But no, like Ehud.  I got up (drawn magnetically by spirited improvisation) and went to investigate. 

Just for fun, Ehud and Rossano were playing four hands (sometimes three), with magnificent results — not only in their own brilliant solos, but in their inspired teamwork.  Here’s the portion of ALL GOD’S CHILLUN that I captured for posterity:

If any of my readers have CD companies of their own, I suggest that this is the idea of the decade . . . . !