Enrico Rava & Stefano Bollani
Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Tue 29 Apr
With Assembly Direct planning no new activity at The Lot until after the Edinburgh Festival (a direct result of last year’s changes to the Scottish Arts Council’s distribution of jazz funding, although presumably a dearth of activity was not their aim), the jazz focus in Edinburgh this summer will fall firmly on The Jazz Bar, and the occasional promotion like this one, mounted by the venue with funding aid from the Italian Cultural Institute in Edinburgh.
Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava has been a major name on the European jazz scene for several decades now, while Bollani has established his own reputation in the last decade, and won the European Jazz Prize as Musician of the Year last year. Their repertoire for the occasion will include compositions by both players, and a sprinkling of covers.
The pair have performed together often since the early 90s, and have something of a mutual admiration society going. Rava has described his collaborator as ‘perhaps the most gifted pianist since Art Tatum’ (doing him few favours in the process, it has to be said – that is a hard one to live up to), while Bollani regards the trumpeter as a significant mentor in his career.
The duo’s first album, The Third Man, was issued on the ECM label last year, and Bollani featured in the quintet that appeared on Rava’s earlier release on the label, Easy Living. The trumpeter’s description of his approach on that record should give a fair idea of what to expect when they hit Edinburgh.
‘What I like today is music with form, tempo, harmony, and melody, and I like to have the freedom to break the rules if I feel like it. If I don’t feel like it, I like to respect the rules.’