The excellent result of this CD by Red seems to testify that the experience of recording with the three Italians during a single, cold late-autumn afternoon was just as intense for Art
Massimo Cazzuffi, JazzNotice
«”It was November 26th, 1996,” says Maurizio Giammarco in the notes to this Red CD. “When together with my loyal friend Piero (Leveratto) we started the first notes with… an authentic genius at the piano. Art (Lande) produces surprising solutions from every point of view – melodic, harmonic and rhythmic. I then asked myself,” continues Giammarco, “if Art’s creativity has to do with the clear and changing air of Colorado, the jazzistically improbable place where he lives.” The fact is that here in Love Ballads Art appears very different from the austere – but not cold! – version of him which we can listen to in classic ECMs such as Shift in the Wind by Gary Peacock: in the session with Giammarco, Leveratto and Gatto, his playing loses the learned and cultured inflections but also that airy and clear sound from the skies and lands of the north. Instead, he acquires a pronounced bluesy feel and a full-bodied sound expressed thanks to the quality of Red’s recording. All versions of the proposed standards – representative of the search “on a kind of neo-romantic line” that Giammarco was on at that time – are noteworthy. There is a subtle – but very perceptible – electric current that accelerates the pulsations or perceptions and makes you live an hour in an instant. “Lightnings and splinters” – Heraclitus’s words are perfect for the two originals by Art Lande: This Love of Mine is a delicate solo piano that releases the seething tension of What ls… Instead, French Love, introduced by the carillon Sur le pont d’Avignon, has a melody with unexpected echoes from Tchaikovsky or Brahms, and its mood recalls the version of a famous symphonic theme of the latter. I Love You, by Cole Porter, starts with an obstinate bass that carries on a fiery ‘samber’ rhythm, with the classic descending figures, and fades to unexpected piano and sax percussion that hover between John Cage and the Antillean steel bands. Stella by Starlight clearly pushes the groups that interpret it to tense and adventurous performances. The Man I Love, which opens the Red CD, is the most traditional track: from the first bars it would presage a collection of the usual standards, and instead takes shape with each harmonic turn. The End of a Love Affair, in closing, is the most irreverent: the sax pronounces the melody straight while the rhythm plays ‘theater games’, opening free or ragtime pieces. “Get ready to live one of the most intense musical experiences of your career,” his drummer friend Ron Vincent told Maurizio when he learned that he had organized musical evenings with Art Lande. It was November 28th, 1996, just two days after their meeting».
Massimo Cazzuffi, JazzNotice