Metalknife: Music for Modern Piano – Review by Fanfare

“Brilliant facility in lightning passagework” ★★★★★

5th July 2022

Metalknife: Music for Modern Piano – Review by Fanfare

Listen or buy this album:

Metalknife: Music for Modern Piano – Review by Fanfare

“Brilliant facility in lightning passagework” ★★★★★

5th July 2022

Listen or buy this album:

Metalknife is a recital by the Italian (b. Lanciano) jazz pianist and composer Matteo Bisbano Memmo. The artist’s biography cites a number of influences, including “Classical, Jazz, Metal, D&B”, as well as such composer/pianists as “Prokofiev, Liszt, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, (and) Jelly Roll Morton…” Producer George Richford also cites Tatum, and in particular that legendary artist’s incorporation of the left hand stride technique (pioneered by James P. Johnson). Indeed, several of the works included on Metalknife are Tatum arrangements. The stride technique may be heard in those pieces, as well as many of the other works, including several original compositions by Memmo. Matteo Bisbano Memmo’s brilliant facility in lightning passagework, as well as his harmonic adventurousness, likewise recall Tatum (not to mention Prokofiev and Liszt). Memmo proves equally inspired in tender, lyrical episodes, with his supple phrasing enhanced by a rich palette of instrumental colors. I must confess that the arrangement (Memmo’s?) of Metallica’s Master of Puppets struck me as more jazz than heavy metal, but that’s not a criticism. All told, this is an impressive and highly entertaining recital, one I’m delighted to recommend to fans of the great tradition of virtuoso jazz pianism.

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Metalknife is a recital by the Italian (b. Lanciano) jazz pianist and composer Matteo Bisbano Memmo. The artist’s biography cites a number of influences, including “Classical, Jazz, Metal, D&B”, as well as such composer/pianists as “Prokofiev, Liszt, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, (and) Jelly Roll Morton…” Producer George Richford also cites Tatum, and in particular that legendary artist’s incorporation of the left hand stride technique (pioneered by James P. Johnson). Indeed, several of the works included on Metalknife are Tatum arrangements. The stride technique may be heard in those pieces, as well as many of the other works, including several original compositions by Memmo. Matteo Bisbano Memmo’s brilliant facility in lightning passagework, as well as his harmonic adventurousness, likewise recall Tatum (not to mention Prokofiev and Liszt). Memmo proves equally inspired in tender, lyrical episodes, with his supple phrasing enhanced by a rich palette of instrumental colors. I must confess that the arrangement (Memmo’s?) of Metallica’s Master of Puppets struck me as more jazz than heavy metal, but that’s not a criticism. All told, this is an impressive and highly entertaining recital, one I’m delighted to recommend to fans of the great tradition of virtuoso jazz pianism.

Review written by:

Review published in:

Other reviews by this author:

No other reviews found

Featured artists:

Featured composers: