Alberto Braida

In love with the moon
We Insist CD WEIN 08

Engaged in many ventures over the past couple of decades, Italian pianist Alberto Braida, who is based near Milan, has demonstrated his fundamentals in configurations ranging from small groups with Edoardo Marraffa and the large Pipeline 8 ensemble to duos with long-time collaborator Giancarlo Nino Locatelli. Returning to a solo setting after nearly a decade, these stream of consciousness improvisations appear more hesitant and rigid than in the past. Angular and doleful, there are sequences than list towards the dyspeptic.

Methodical in his explorations, with effort applied to almost every pulse to display the proper resonance, it isn’t until the concise “In love with the moon II” that ambulatory bounces and rolling crescendos start to make their presence felt. Speeding up to a glossier interchange with churning key motion, Braida then creates a final section which coasts down to low-pressure serenity. Later on there are further points during which patterns are emphasized and melodic detours point to potentials for further elaborations. Meanwhile a secondary breach occurs mid-way through the final “In love with the moon IV” where a quote from Monk’s “Pannonica” is inferred, toyed with and then passed by for more low-pitched plinking variables.

Curiously the pianist insists that this program is built around taste, insisting that there is no pleasure without effort. Repeated, intense listening could no doubt expose more pleasure, especially for the piano fancier. But some livelier material as well as apparently a better mood on the pianist’s part could have lessened the mostly monochromatic playing here. Next time out it’s hoped that dexterity and development in his playing as well as difference will be emphasized to give a more profound demonstration of Braida’s obvious talent.

—Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. In love with the moon I 2. In love with the moon II 3. In love with the moon III 4. In love with the moon IV

Personnel: Alberto Braida (piano)