Stefano Bollani: arrivano gli alieni (Decca/Universal)

Review by John Stevenson

Stefano Bollani is a virtuoso jazz pianist and singer from Milan with a mischievous sense of humour. This eclectic program of originals, popular Italian tunes, jazz standards, folk songs and a Brazilian pop anthem, provide evidence of a truly variegated harmonic and melodic palette.

Performing solo on pianoforte and Fender Rhodes, Bollani is engaging from the get-go with a purposeful and percolating ‘Alleanza’ and ‘Quando, Quando, Quando’.

He gives a warm and heartfelt rendition of Ary Barroso’s ‘Aquarela Do Brasil’ and tackles the Trinidadian calypso, ‘Matilda’, as if he was ambling down Frederick Street in 1930s Port-of-Spain.

stefanoHowever, the real fun begins (and ends rather all too soon) on the brief title track which considers an alien invasion to be a benevolent intervention. Bollani’s sure-footed improvisational savoir faire and witty lyrics ensure a satisfying listening experience.