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MP3 Van Veenendaal/ Puglisi - Duets for Prepared Unprepared and Toy Pianos

Free duo improvisations. "the session, recorded in the legendary bimhuis in Amsterdam is far away from the usual challange between piano experts, anxious to show their never-ending instrumental virtuosity."

16 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Contemporary Jazz, AVANT GARDE: Free Improvisation

Show all album songs: Duets for Prepared Unprepared and Toy Pianos Songs

Van Veenendaal/Puglisi

Albert van Veenendaal: (prepared) piano
Fabrizo Puglisi: (prepared) piano & toy piano

The two pianists Fabrizio Puglisi and Albert van Veenendaal met in late 2003 during the opening of the European TryTone Festival. They played a surprising and powerful opening concert together and knew then and there that a new duo was born! Despite their different musical background they share a similar approach. Improvisation and composition go hand in hand, new ideas that derive from improvisation are picked up on and elaborated at high speed. Regardless of how freely they approach their (self written) repertoire their sense of form, intuition and groove remain captivating throughout the entire performance.


recorded in amsterdam in february 2004 this magnificent work shows the cooperation between two of the best european pianists of the new generations, the dutch albert van veenendaal, cofounder of the independent label evil rabbit and fabrizio puglisi, component of the atman and active in the association ''bassesfere'' in bologna. the record proposes 16 duets for piano, prepared and toy piano, but it is better to warn the fans so that they know that these bright episodes require a committed listening.
the heavy weight of "duets" is brilliantly synthesized in the stormy "earthquakes" and "short fuses": hallucinating "earthquakes of notes and arpeggios", tuned with the genial and elliptic "descent into the maelstroom", a tristanian nightmare of 1953.
jazz magazine, (e.p.), june 2007, translated by Sara Ercoli
the pianist puglisi, one of the most important protagonists of the italian ''eclectic-avantgarde'' jazz scene, plays 16 short instant composed duets with his dutch ''twin'' van veenendaal. they both use the piano also prepared, puglisi also the toy piano. tight conversations in general, which are lively and led with instrumental, admirable expertise and with the spirit of two boxers but very playful.
once in a while there are narrative digressions - as appreciated either in the tradition of the dutch circuits and as in the the taste of the protean puglisi - but the music develops in it''s own logic and it is animated by a strong passion for research. pleasant cd, open, blasphemous and inventive.
Il manifesto, (https://www.tradebit.com.), 7 july 2007, translated by Sara Ercoli,
this remarkable cd confirms that among small labels we can find the most unpredictable and inspiring productions and the most original and personal graphic design. and indirectly, it confirms that italian improvisers can take the chance to have a look outside the national borders. since 1997 puglisi periodically visits the amsterdam scene, where, four years ago, he met van veenendaal, who is slightly older. together in “duets” they offer an all-round improvisation (except for two pieces) by proving an extraordinary syntony, either in concept and technique. however, their music takes a distance from the strict codes of radical improvisation; on the contrary, the solidity of the structures, the melodic cues and the rythmic bows often give the impression that this is written music. the main reference for the two pianists is not much jazz but the academic music of the twentieth century. Infact, now and then a tribute to tristano or taylor is doubtless but more often the shadow of bartok appears as sometimes the charming nonchalance of satie or the “oriental” cage of the works for prepared piano from the fourties, raise.
farnè, musica jazz nr. 5, may 2007, translated by sara ercoli
elegant and linear in the beautyful packaging, “duets” makes us discover the mesmeric affinity between the two pianos - might they be prepared, unprepared or toy - of albert van veenendaal and fabrizio puglisi (who, among the italian improvisers is revealing himself more and more as a referring point). usually pianistic duets are played either with bombastic virtuosity or - on the contrary - with a shy musical “please, after you”, which the most generous souls would misjudge for understatement. here instead we find courage and respect, the role play is infact a game and, time after time, the very fast pieces happen to create small abstractions or sudden alliances between notes. they are imperceptible magic, soft molecular dances where sometimes the detail makes the difference. find them.
enrico bettinello, blow up, march 2007, translated by sara ercoli
This summit between Dutch pianist Albert van Veenendaal and Italian pianist Fabrizio Puglisi, recorded at Amsterdam’s famed Bimhuis, presents an exciting program of sixteen cuts where the duo present their instruments’ fullest ranges. The results speak to their virtuosity, creativity and lively personal playing styles that mix technique equally
with a sense of joy. As for the straight-up piano pieces, the open-
ing bounce of “Hop” is a tricky, yet buoyant excursion that demonstrates their collaborative strengths, particularly due to their call and response, deconstruction of melodic threads and biting humor. For further examples, the rollicking “Short Fuses” has the pianos literally rocking with tenacious force, while they stomp excitedly on “To Alan Lomax” and oscillate wildly on “Earthquakes.” The duo’s sense of freedom and fun really takes best shape on the pieces that prominently feature prepared work, such as the plucky percussiveness of “Eppur Si Muove,” the whispers of “Balthus E Il Gatto,” the emotive tranquility of
“Elegy For Russian Brides,” the puckish “Traps And Targets” and “Gaffers Song.” Other high marks include the stunningly beautiful extended track, “Gazz,” where eerie, meditative soundmaking is on
tap, as well as the obtuse “Vertical Arrival” or the nervous energy of “Misfits.” Though whimsical throughout, there is no better example than the four part “Quartre Petites Histoires,” a fantasia for the toy piano work of Puglisi. With the tinkling “Il Chant Un Petit Chanson” reminding of little mice scurrying across the floor, the merry-go-round approach of “Il
Mange Une Pomme,” the rumbling tinkles of “Il Neige” or the gentle “Ou Est Il?,” it proves difficult not to listen to this short suite repeatedly.
Some insist that, like most instruments, the piano’s technical boundaries can only be stretched so far and, further, that we’ve already heard it all. For its farthest reaches in terms of pure soundmaking and instrumental dexterity, van Veenendaal and Puglisi present a wonderful exam-
ple of such range.
cadence, july 2007, by Jay Collins
Dry, incisive, essential and in total symbiosis with the hard paper edition which contains it: a sort of ‘arte povera’ of marketing in the label industry.
We are talking about Duets for Unprepared and Toy Pianos, a cd released by Fabrizio Puglisi, one of the most creative representatives of italian pianism, and Albert Van Veendaal, dutch piano player on the edge of contemporary and jazz music, founder of the label Evil Rabbits.
The session, recorded in the legendary Bimhuis in Amsterdam is far away from the usual challange between piano experts, anxious to show their never-ending instrumental virtuosity.
On the contrary it consistes of 16 author’s sketches (only 3 pieces go above the 3 minutes). 16 pictures which set on cd a minimalistic music in it’s expression, but at the same time, is rich in it’s contents and references in it’s substance.
The two pianists are completely at ease among dissonances, sound-jokes on the cords of the piano and improbable melodies.
And they enjoy using onomatopoeia as in “Quatre petit histoires”, a very short suite in which the toy piano adds an alienating atmosphere and evocates movements of butterfly wings like in “Il neige”. Or the thundery chord exchanges, played in the low registers of “Earthquakes”, luckily only musical earthquake.
Then, when the listener seems to be acquainted to a kind of sound zapping, here it comes, unpredicted, “Gazz”, with it’s eight abundant minutes of medative tranquillity: a deranged romantic oasis which voluptuousness surrounds you and leaves you breathless.
A record which tickels the mind and grows listening by listening.
Vincenzo Roggero, All about Jazz Italy, 14.02.2007
translated by Sara Ercoli
...The title leaves no doubt and the pianists make good use of their range of instruments. The music is playful, rhythmical and danceable. It is remarkable, however, that Van Veenendaal and Puglisi don’t get in each other’s way – usually this is quiet a risk with two pianos. They both have a spacious way of playing that leaves room to breathe and helps avoiding too many note-accumulations. Composers like Satie en Cage were probably great influences on both of them. After all Cage introduced the gamelan sound of the prepared piano and the dreamy Gazz (one of Van Veenendaal’s compositions) would be unheard of without the Frenchman’s oeuvre.
Jazzflits nr 3, 11 february 2007, Herman te Loo
translated by Anna Feilchenfeldt
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