Bill Evans’ Heritage At Its Best – Enrico Pieranunzi’s Deep Down

Enrico Pieranunzi

When starting this post I was trying to find a good reason why I didn’t mention the brilliant Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi in my 25 Essential Jazz albums. Actually, I couldn’t really find one.

Probably the only one that comes to mind that out of the enormous recording legacy that Pieranunzi has done over the years (and he’s still recording) it is really hard to pick a winner, there are so many good albums in his discography.

Obviously, Bill Evans influenced many contemporary pianists. However, his influence is audible even more with Pieranunzi. He certainly doesn’t make a secret out of it, he’s even written a book about Bill Evans, and on the 1986 recording below and many others, he’s even taken on Marc Johnson, the bassist of Evans last trio (see his brilliant playing on Consecration).

That said, don’t think that Pieranunzi is merely a Evans clone, far from that, he is one of the most extraordinary piano players of our times for me.

Deep Down

Enrico Pieranunzi Marc Johnson Joey Barron Deep Down 1987 Soul Note

This 1986 album is an excellent example of what I like about Pieranunzi. You get beautiful ballads (We’ll Be Together Again or Atigny), swinging melodies (Dee Song), and one of my most loved standards (Someday My Prince Will Come) in a beautiful, very individual version.

Overall, Pieranunzi will never only record standards, he’ll always contribute his own compositions (4 of the 9 album tracks, with Marc Johnson contributing another original).

My rating: 5 stars (yes I know, again 5 stars, but rest assured, my blog so far just has a very heavy bias to the stuff I really like, it is really not that I’ll fork out 5 stars at every corner).

I strongly suggest you don’t limit yourself in the exploration of Pieranunzi to this album, there is so much more to discover. For example, I’d recommend you get this full 6CD box at Amazon, which includes 5 other albums from his earlier period, all good to excellent.

Enrico Pieranunzi The Complete Recordings on Black Saint and Soul Note 6 CD Box

You can also just download the individual album here (Qobuz).

Author: Musicophile

I'm not a professional musician, I don't work in the music industry, I'm just what the name says, somebody who loves music. I've been in love with music for all of my life, took piano lessons for nearly 10 years, and played in several amateur Jazz groups. I go to concerts, both classical and Jazz, quite regularly. And I collect music previously on vinyl and CDs, now on my computer, and am slightly OCD on my music collection. You can reach me at Musicophile1(AT)gmail.com

10 thoughts on “Bill Evans’ Heritage At Its Best – Enrico Pieranunzi’s Deep Down”

  1. I was just wondering if you like the Italian Jazz represented in ECM label, I was amazed by people like Enrico Rava, Stefano Bollani, S. Bataglia, Paolo Fresu, and many others that make in quantity and quality a really strong scene, maybe worth to make others aware of this great artists
    Thank you for sharing so many good records
    Regards

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks José for the kind words.

      Let me take them one by one:

      Rava is a great player but I’m not a universal fan of his records (there are some gems though, will write about them soon).

      Bollani I already wrote about here: https://musicophilesblog.com/2015/08/31/a-beautiful-italo-scandinavian-trio-stefano-bollanis-stone-in-the-water/

      Bataglia I’m not a universal fan, with some exceptions (also coming up).

      And Fresu is great, I saw him live in concert with Ralph Towner in duo (as recorded on Chiaroscuro) and loved it.

      More to come!

      Like

      1. Ok
        It is true that for the blog quality you need to be a lot more selective,rationale and objective.
        I am only starting the discovery process, sure you can help guiding a litlle, but surprised but this italian mine.
        Thank you again

        Liked by 1 person

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