Criss Cross Jazz 1420 CD

Antonio Faraò


Available: June 14, 2024

“I’m proud to be part of Criss Cross”, Antonio Faraò says of his maiden voyage for the label. For the occasion, which transpired in Meudon Studios in Paris in July 2023, the Milan-based pianist, then 58, convened an equivalently virtuosic trio comprising bassist John Patitucci and drummer Jeff Ballard, presented them with eight originals and two standards, and let them loose. Each member operates at a creative peak on this lyric, kinetic, beautifully proportioned 65-minute recital.

Titled Tributes, Faraò’s Criss Cross debut is closer in feel and attitude to the albums Black Inside, Thorn and Next Stories, recorded for Enja between 1998 and 2001, where Faraò joined forces, respectively, with top-of-the-pyramid, New York-seasoned masters Ira Coleman and Jeff Watts, Drew Gress and Jack deJohnette, and Ed Howard and Gene Jackson. Functioning completely as a peer, he addresses the dialects of his pianistic heroes – universal “postbop” influences as Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans and Kenny Kirkland, as well as Oscar Peterson, Erroll Garner, Lennie Tristano, and Martial Solal – on their own terms of engagement, with the fluency of a native speaker. He assimilates their styles, refracts them into a personal argot, alchemizing challenging rhythms and highbrow harmony into graceful melodies. He eschews ironic deflection and gratuitous structural complication, sustaining an attitude of in-the-moment creation and a fierce will to swing.

“I like to play in the straight-ahead way, but at the same time be open, out of the box” Faraò says. “Playing this way allows me freedom, and this rhythm section knows how to manage that dimension. I don’t think about anything when I play. I try to follow the line. When you start thinking is when you make a mistake. You should play natural. Live yourself. Form the way. When I compose, my inspiration is usually from the past, when I was a teenager. It’s rare that I’m inspired by the future.”

Antonio Faraò
Barcode 8 712474 142026
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1. Tributes (Antonio Faraò)  6:19
2. Right One (Antonio Faraò)  6:51
3. Shock (Antonio Faraò)  6:53
4. I Love You (Cole Porter)  7:30
5. Tender (Antonio Faraò)  7:21
6. MT (Antonio Faraò)  4:33
7. Memories Of Calvi (Antonio Faraò)  6:36
8. Syrian Children (Antonio Faraò)  4:58
9. Song For Shorter (Antonio Faraò)  7:35
10. Matrix (Chick Corea)  5:40

Total Time: 64:23
Recorded July 26, 2023 in Paris, France
Engineer: Julien Basseres (recording) & Michael Marciano (editing / mixing / mastering)
Producer: Jerry Teekens (executive) & Christophe Besson - Alvearium Holding (co-producer)

In this new project I wanted to pay tribute to some great musicians who over the years have given me strong artistic and human emotions, as well as some places like Calvì, where I had the opportunity to meet other formidable musicians of the French jazz scene, including the great Didier Lockwood and Michel Petrucciani, to whom I dedicate “Memories of Calvì”. I’m very excited about the opportunity to present this album with two extraordinary musicians like John Patitucci and Jeff Ballard. This is a project I have developed in the last two years and realised thanks to Christophe Besson who immediately believed in my music, taking over with great support in the co-production with Jerry Teekens, owner of the prestigious record label Criss Cross Jazz Records, as well as, in my opinion, one of the few authentic producers left.

Special Thanks to:
Jerry Teekens, Christophe Besson, “Master” Marco Glaviano, Sylvie Da Costa, Thibault Eskalt, John Patitucci, Jeff Ballard and Alex Sipiagin.

Antonio Faraò