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Enrico Rava Quintet and Stefano Bollani in Concert

Enrico Rava
Enrico Rava

Trumpeter Enrico Rava is one of the first Italian musicians to have worked and recorded in America in the 1960s. His first instrument, before coming here, was trombone in a Dixieland band - yes, in Italy, not so long after World War II. Then, the story goes, in 1956 in the city of Turin, he saw Miles Davis and Lester Young in concert. To see them together would have been quite an experience! Rava switched to trumpet, developing what writers now call a "burnished" tone. Listeners might say there's a bit of trombone in it.

In Europe, Rava played with young American expatriates like saxophonist Steve Lacy, pursuing a free, post-bebop style. Then Rava moved to New York and joined the avant garde scene. In 1972, back in Italy, he released his first record as a leader, the same year that Stefano Bollani was born in Milan. In 2002, he won the Danish JAZZPAR Award, a major European award.

Rava has been a mentor for young Italian players. He's proud of that. When he heard Bollani on piano, Rava advised the young player to take the plunge from conservatory training and a pop career to jazz. Then he hired Bollani. Now Bollani — talent wrapped in a sense of humor — has struck out on a solo career. He draws from a wide range, from Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf to Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, arias and Billy Joel. His playing radiates joy.

Rava's group blends an Italian flow and colors with the configuration of jazz; you can listen for both. On this JazzSet we hear his group with pianist Andrea Pozza at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and Bollani solo at The Teatro at Columbia University's Italian Academy in New York. So warm, conversational and delicious that you'll want to catch the next flight to Italy! Both have new CDs from ECM Music.


Rava and Stefano Bollani are both ECM recording artists. Thanks to Tina Pelikan of ECM.

Claire Lawrence of the CBC show Jazzbeat produced this recording. Engineers are Pierre Plante, Normand Dionne, and remixer Gary Heald.

Our engineer is Ginger Bruner @ KUNV Las Vegas.

Our Technical Director is Duke Markos.

Producer Becca Pulliam.

Executive Producer Thurston Briscoe III at WBGO Jazz 88 in Newark, NJ, and wbgo.org

Copyright 2007 WBGO