February 15th saw the Marco Marconi Trio performing live at Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho for the launch of their latest album, Nordik, released on the 33 Jazz label last year.
It was a fantastic atmosphere and the Trio played with verve and imagination, inspiring the audience with a new style of sophisticated, contemporary jazz that appeals right across the board.
Technically incredibly challenging, the Trio moved through the repertoire with ease, showing virtuosity and skill with the changing rhythms and moods of each piece. Most of the music was composed and arranged for the Trio by leader, Marco Marconi, who together with Andrea di Biase on bass and Enzo Zirilli on drums, breathe life into each piece, making it distinctively their own.
As reviewer Sammy Stein wrote: “Every so often the fates contrive to bring together musicians of incredible talent, put them in the hands of a good recording engineer, give them a good producer and the result is an album which is very special. Nordik is the result of such a series of events.”
If you were lucky enough to be at the gig then you will know exactly what Sammy meant.
Marco Marconi Trio review – smooth jazz with just enough sting
Vortex, London (Dec 2015)
Classically trained and cinematically inspired, Marconi leads his band in a set of impetuous rhythm changes, glossy contrapuntal playing and swaying swing
Italy’s Fazioli company, builders of the bespoke instruments that have as much budget-boggling attention put into their aesthetics as their musical virtues, in 2010 invited Marco Marconi to show how jazz could sound on their creations – and the Umbria-raised, UK-resident pianist undoubtedly feels like a Fazioli soulmate. He has classically trained polish, a focus on cinematically seductive melody as both a composer and an interpreter, and refinement of a sophisticated kind of smooth jazz with just enough edge to sting.
From the first notes, Marconi’s trio – with regular bassist Andrea Di Biase (who has worked with British stars including the late Kenny Wheeler and singer Norma Winstone) and understated drummer Lloyd Haines – sounded focused on letting the leader’s often romantic music breathe. Their opener was a rapturous mid-tempo ballad; they followed it with a waltzing swinger of sleek piano and bass motifs in unison, in which Marconi’s improvisations would gracefully roll through repeating treble figures with canny chord shifts beneath, while Haines’s brushwork and hi-hat accents fluttered and snapped.
Nordik, the title track of the pianist’s new album, displayed an attractively whippy melody of impetuous rhythm changes interspersed with swaying swing, and turned into a showcase for the leader’s glossy contrapuntal playing and for Di Biase’s ethereally dreamy upper-register sighs with the bow.
John Fordham, The Guardian, 3 Dec 2015
Full review here: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/dec/03/marco-marconi-trio-review-smooth-jazz-with-just-enough-sting
“Every so often the fates contrive to bring together musicians of incredible talent, put them in the hands of a good recording engineer, give them a good producer and the result is an album which is very special. Nordik is the result of such a series of events.”
“Too High Don’t Try” kick starts this CD and from the start it is clear this is something different, a new take on the trio of piano, bass and drums. The swingy, mesmeric theme is relished by the piano, underpinned by bass and drums and develops into a rippling, writhing beast of a number with dare-devil bursts of speed set off by short, sharp chords. The drum solo from Enzo Zirilli is effective and very engaging and tops the number cleverly until the theme is re-introduced by piano and bass. It is not until the second or third listen that you realise how complex the piano part is in the second half of the number, and how astonishingly rapid the finger movements are.
‘Nordik’ is slower and the piano dominates but not in a brash way. The theme is structured and weaves in an out around some great improvising sections where the piano, especially in the mid section, leads but the other instruments willingly follow providing key support to Marconi’s riffling, fast fingered notations. There is a gorgeous piano and percussion interlude with the piano playing short little riffs and open chords and the drum supporting before the theme is picked up again by the whole group. Again, the fast fingered work of Marconi defies possibilities.
For the full review by Sammy Stein (Jazz In Europe), please click the link below:
A lucky meeting with Paul Jolly of 33Jazz after a concert at The Market Theatre in Hitchin, led to Paul signing me to his label in May 2015 and releasing Nordik, my latest album recorded with my Trio at the Fazioli Concert Hall in November 2013.
Nordik features nearly all original compositions which have been brought to life by my fabulous trio members, Andrea di Biase on double bass and Enzo Zirilli on drums.
We are looking forward to touring with the album at the end of 2015 with a launch gig in Jan 2016!