EUROPEAN DUO

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Artistic proposalby

GIORGIO OCCHIPINTI

EUROPEAN DUO

Period: 
From 14 August 2018 to 14 August 2018
Musicians: 
GIORGIO OCCHIPINTI (PIANO) JOELLE LEANDRE (DOUBLE BASS, VOICE)
Description: 

“Incandescences is a piano/bass duo that is at its best when it’s on fire, and that’s often on this disc. Occhipinti grabs attention immediately, playing with a sophistication, refined precision, and raw energy that recalls Stravinsky’s little-known piano music. Indeed, he seems at times during these duets (and Part Three, his solo showcase) to be making explicit reference to Stravinsky pieces like ‘Sonata’, ‘Piano Rag Music’, ‘Tango’ and ‘Circus Polka’. Of course, he doesn’t play the inside of the piano on Part Eight (accompanied by Léandre’s intriguing vocalise) only to demonstrate that he has encompassed more contemporary developments - that’s clear from his playing throughout.
Listening to Occhipinti is like flying in a 747 with a stunt pilot at the helm: who would have known that this big lumbering beast could turn on a dime? Yet Occhipinti hammers away, making an immense sound, and then suddenly sweeps into an elegant whisper and back again, leaving one breathless and dazzled. Léandre, meanwhile, is a perfect match for him, for her energy, agility, and versatility are deservedly legendary, and are abundantly illustrated here. She displays a great range of percussive effects - perhaps in response to the power of Occhipinti’s playing - but her bowing is the real treat here, wonderfully accenting the depth of Occhipinti’s lines even at their most declamatory. Recommended. ” 
Robert Spencer in “Cadence” (U.S.A.), May 2000

“ In classic, as well as in jazz music, there are very rare occasions for the double bass to excel. Very few solo works have been composed for this instrument. The Finnish composers have, in fact, considerably improved the situation. Teppo Hauta-aho’s works are very popular in solo recitals and at auditions. Rautavaara has even composed a bass concerto especially for Esko Laine. The Bass player, of whom many well-intended jokes circulate, is, along with the percussionist, classified as the musician’s reliable support in the background. The young Sicilian pianist, Occhipinti, and the apparently slightly older bassist Ms Léandre (Belgian? French?) have now filled a gap, and have in Belgium made a completely improvised live CD-recording for bass and piano, which strikes me as being absolutely unique. Contrary to popular belief, the double bass is a very versatile box. You can even play polyphonic, beautiful melodies, or normal or flutelike sound; you can rub it, scratch it and bang it; you can pluck it, finger it and flick it; accompany melodies and, of course, produce a variety of exotic sounds. With it you can discover quite different sounds than offered by the normal clavier (compare to the limitations of a string bass!). And Joëlle really does all of this, ecstatically, sensitively, furiously, seething with rhythm and invitingly tranquil. If this goes on, the bass player jokes are out! But this is no jazz! Or is it? And then, on the other hand, there has to be some swing in Bach and Mozart, too! Perhaps that is jazz as well? The sound that this duo produces is funny, it swings, it entices the imagination. There is musical communication between them that challenges the partner, and it certainly is not boring.
Stravinsky, Vivaldi, ragtime, Cecil Taylor, Irène Schweizer, they all flash by, in synergy. And you will certainly find jazz, especially in the sound effects produced by Joël. This, indeed, is no Kiri Te Kanawa! This recoding proves that in order to achieve the freedom of serious modern music one does not need the brass, and certainly not any strings. We highly recommend it, no, we actually force it on each and everyone, who is interested in all sorts of music. And also to the others. Without reservations.” 
Heikki Tegelman in ”Jazzrytmit” (Finland), 14.10.1999

”A CD recorded in 1997 that brings us a product in which the dialogues between instruments go through very different states and situations. On a different level, monologues are reserved as spaces intended for a clear and specific displaying of each musician Which, in the case of Occhipinti, comprises narratives which include memories of and fond feelings for Stravinsky, Ravel, Taylor or Irène Schweitzer.” 
Francis Monroe in ”Hurly Burly” (Spain), 11/2000