Being that the international jazz scene is so vastly saturated with artists, it seems to, on occasion, be down to a matter of luck as to whether a name falls into your lap sooner or later. Sometimes we discover artists early, before they reach their prime and it's something in which we take pride, often exaggerating profoundly to our friends; Oh yeah 'Kit Downes', I saw him when no-one knew who he was it was great and only cost me 50p. Of course occasionally the opposite happens and you are left staring blankly at someone who has just relayed to you their intricate and deep-rooted feelings about the new album from 'Kekko Fornarelli' (no I'd not heard of him either). This naivety is not something to be sneered at or snootily guffawed at, in fact it's one of my favourite features of jazz; I can talk to the most avid fan of the genre who visits the same venues as me, uses the same forms of music discovery as me, but who still maintains a wealth of names to which I have to simply retort 'I haven't heard of them'. I should really record our conversations.
This semi-coherent set of ramblings has been bought on by a specific conversation I had with a friend. He asked my feelings on the aforementioned 'Kekko Fornarelli', with whom I wasn't familiar. Being that it's a name which doesn't easily slip out of ones mind, I googled him as soon as I got home, found his latest release and downloaded it instantly. Now, often it cannot be said that you can fully understand an artist's music (In terms of its conception and ergonomics) without a sound understanding of their instrument but the italian born pianist has changed this. After listening to this album I was left with a deep-rooted sense of awe as well as a strange feeling of comprehension, two things which rarely go hand in hand. The 'awe' I speak of comes in the form of that familiar 'rush' we all get when getting excited about a really good record. It's beautifully recorded, contains a fantastic blend of sporadic-sounding, fast paced tracks balanced finely with some gracious slower excursions, and most of all is an astounding advocate for Fornarelli's obvious virtuosity in both composition and performance. The comprehension I speak of comes from the fact that when the album finished, I was enveloped in a strange sense of my own virtuosity at the piano, a sort of essence which was left lingering from the record. It's a strange one I know, especially considering the fact that I don't play the piano, but Fornarelli's intuitive playing gave me a real grasp of the instrument and it's capability. It wasn't so much a record to listen to as one to experience and learn from!
The album's called 'Room Of Mirror's' and is available on emusic for the tiny price of £3.36 (trust me its worth it)