Paint Your Life
Italy boasts one of the most vibrant jazz scenes in the world today. While veteran trumpet players Enrico Rava and Paolo Fresu and pianists Enrico Pieranunzi and Stefano Bollani attract international attention, the boot-shaped nation has produced many talented jazz musicians who remain relatively unknown in the United States. Turin native Dario “Rainote” Chiazzolino, one of today’s finest young Italian guitarists, is a case in point.
A highly lyrical player in the Pat Metheny mold, the 30-year-old Chiazzolino teams up with California piano phenom Taylor Eigsti on Paint Your Life, a melodic yet intricate quartet offering. Bassist Marco Panascia and drummer Willie Jones III round out the combo.
Recorded in a single day in New York City in 2011, the album includes seven original tunes and one cover (a busy bop treatment of “There Is No Greater Love”). On the surface, most tracks are soft-hued creations reflective of Chiazzolino’s main influence, pianist Bill Evans. A closer listen reveals a rare depth of passion and sublime musicianship, even on the more accessible tunes such as the Metheny-like originals “Precious Things,” “Far From Here” and “Nel.”
Chiazzolino and Eigsti are simpatico stylists who share a palpable chemistry. Their rapport is most evident on the acoustic ballad “Nostalgia” and “Floating,” a soaring track with a classic Wes Montgomery feel. The guitarist goes it alone and acoustic on the tranquil E-minor title track, which utilizes subtle atmospherics. Here, he pays poignant tribute to his father, Antonio, who passed away suddenly.
Chiazzolino views the highlight of his career thus far as his appearance with the Yellowjackets during their 2012 European tour. The instrumental and compositional acumen he displays here should further extend his reach beyond the borders of his homeland. —Ed Kopp