The Third Man

The Third Man

On this excellent duo album, the venerable trumpeter Enrico Rava, one of Italy’s most high profile jazz musicians, teams up with compatriot Stefano Bollani, who first felt the pull of Rava’s music while the pianist was still in his early teens. The two players seem to communicate via telepathy, and even though they’re improvising the resulting tracks have the focus of finely detailed compositions. The opening cut, “Estate,” a song by the Italian singer Bruno Martino, immediately establishes the duo’s approach. Rava wrote most of the tracks, but it’s no surprise that the pair is attracted to the lovely harmonic language of Brazilian music; it’s a perfect fit for their lyrical leanings. The album features two versions of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Retrato Em Branco Y Preto” and a subtle reading of the composer and arranger Moacyr Santos’ “Felipe.” The Third Man is a quiet work, and its nuances can take a while to fully absorb. Or, put another way, chances are every time you put it on, you’ll hear something new.

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