Easy Living: My Favorite Enrico Rava Album

Enrico Rava

In my previous post on Enrico Pieranunzi I was asked about other Italian artists I like, and José in his comment listed among others Enrico Rava. This is what triggered this blog post.

Well, first of all, my initial answer is that Rava has a beautiful sound, a very soft, dreamy voice, that I really like.

With regards to his recorded albums, I’m more torn, as I don’t have a single album with Rava in the lead of which I love every single track. I’ll explain further below why.

That said, without doubt Rava is one of the leading figures of the Italian Jazz scene.

I have about 10 albums of Rava in my collection, and would like to present here what overall is my favorite Rava album: Easy Living

Easy Living (ECM 2003)

Why this particular album?

Well, first of all, Easy Living is one of my favorite standards (I originally fell in love with Sarah Vaughan singing it). And Rava does a gorgeous version of this song here.

Enrico Rava Easy Living ECM 2003

Second, Stefano Bollani.

I’ve previously written about him and how much I appreciate his piano playing, and he’s also one of the factors why I particularly appreciate this album. Take his solo on track 8, Hornette and the Drum Things and you’ll understand why.

Track 1, Chromosomi, is already a great start. It sets the scene for an album that is generally meditative, dreamy, perfect for a lazy Sunday morning like this one (as I write it, it has started to snow outside, and this song sounds like the perfect soundtrack for watching the  falling snowflakes).

Now to explain, as already mentioned above, what I don’t like about certain Rava songs, let’s take the example of Traveling Night (track 7). I’ve written time and time over again, how much I need melodies. My brain is just wired that way.

I actually like Rosario Bonaccorso’s bass solo, and then Roberto Gatto and Stefano chiming in the same mood. But then I get lost in rhythmic and harmony changes, and my little brain never finds its way out again, it just feels to random.

I’ve had this discussion with Jazz musicians, and for some of them, when it gets more random and adventurous, this is when music really starts getting interesting, for some others, this is when it starts to lose interest. I’m not arguing quality here, but just personal preference.

One special thing to mention on this album is the beautiful complementarity between Rava and Gianluca Petrella on trombone.

This album is recorded by ECM, and therefore, as usual, the recording quality is really good.

My rating: 4 stars

You can find it here (Qobuz)

 

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