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Antonio Faraò : Tributes Review

Antonio Faraò : Tributes Review

by Steven Miller

Antonio-Faraò-sound-in-review-cdAntonio Faraò, an acclaimed pianist from Rome, has built a reputation as one of the most proficient and inventive pianists on the international jazz scene. Known for his technical brilliance, creative spontaneity, and rhythmic dexterity, Faraò’s music resonates with warmth, conviction, and power. His career has been marked by collaborations with jazz luminaries and contributions to jazz and classical music, making him a versatile and dynamic artist.

Tributes marks Faraò’s first recording with Criss Cross Jazz, where he teams up with equally virtuosic musicians: bassist John Patitucci and drummer Jeff Ballard. This album is a homage to the influential musicians and places that have shaped Faraò’s artistic journey.

From the first note of Tributes, it’s evident that this project is a labor of love and respect for the giants who have influenced his music. The album, recorded at Studio de Meudon in Paris, features a stellar trio: Faraò on piano, John Patitucci on bass, and Jeff Ballard on drums. Each member contributes to a dynamic and cohesive performance that navigates through a spectrum of styles with finesse and passion.

The title track sets the tone with the trio’s vibrant and intricate interplay. Faraò’s piano leads with a melodic line that pays homage to his influences, while Patitucci’s bass provides a robust foundation, and Ballard’s drumming injects kinetic energy. The quartal harmony and the pentatonic melodies evoke sounds of his influences, and Faraò’s personal touch is unmistakable.

“Right One” showcases Faraò’s ability to balance complex and accessible textures into interactive stories between the drums and bass. Patitucci’s solo is a lyrical expression, and Ballard’s supportive comping complements the entire performance.

“Shock” features Faraò’s skillful communication with Ballard and Patitucci, creating an exhilarating listening experience. “I Love You” (Cole Porter) demonstrates Faraò’s arrangement skills. The trio maintains the tune’s structure while infusing it with interactive energy and a deep understanding of the jazz tradition. The trio shows their building approach to a ballad with “Tender.”

“MT,” a tribute to McCoy Tyner, is a tour de force of Tynerisims transmitted through Faraò’s rhythmically charged performance. Inspired by Michel Petrucciani, “Memories of Calvi” is an outstanding Brazil-inflected piece fluidly dialogued between the trio. “Syrian Children” reveals Faraò’s classical background, and “Song for Shorter” shines with the trio’s interplay. “Matrix” (Chick Corea) concludes the album with a spirited performance, summating the powerful and satisfying interaction between the three players.

Tributes documents Antonio Faraò’s skill as a pianist and composer. The album beautifully balances homage and innovation, showcasing Faraò’s ability to assimilate and refract the styles of his influences into a unique and compelling musical language. The contributions of John Patitucci and Jeff Ballard elevate the album, making it a standout in contemporary jazz. Tributes is a solid listen and a worthy addition to any jazz catalog.

Antonio Faraò: Website


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Antonio Faraò with John Patitucci and Jeff Ballard

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Release Date

June 14, 2024


Criss Cross Jazz

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Steven Miller
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