ephemeral rhizome

gianni lenoci

  • 1 for robert helps (16.25)
  • 2 afrika metropolitaine (8.19)
  • 3 in retrospect (9.01)
  • 4 bluish (10:52)
  • 5 acid rain (5:54)
  • 6 ephemeral rhizome (6:53)

Album Info

total playing time: 57:29

recorded by mirko patella september 22, 2008
at itaca recording studio, bari/ italy
mixed by mirko patella september 29, 2009
mastered by mimmo galizia june 10, 2009
at wave ahead studio, monopoli/ italy

all music by gianni lenoci, ©siae

design: lysander le coultre (strangelove creatives)
photography: monique besten
distribution: www.subdist.com
evil rabbit records is a member of www.toondist.com


  • m.ga., 3 april 2010, il manifesto

    how many jazz pianists can gianni lenoci swallow in one mouthful? among italians, almost all of them. can you find him in the "jazz music” charts? not even if you search with a lantern.

    if we think about italian jazz criticism we fall into despair but, that said, we praise this work in six tracks which is probably lenoci’s best release. a little late-romantic here and there, like a recent cecil taylor who seems to be fascinated by gustav mahler: unusually redundant but nicely and intelligent as someone who knows to be a super virtuoso and shows his generous music without problems of austerity and measure. his only limit is an anchor to tonality, also in free improvisation, where however, you need safe references in order to make logic constructions. here, everything is dazzling. everything is an affirmation of the fullness of a courageous research.

  • libero farné, 8 february 2010, allaboutjazz italy

    on their label, german bassist meinrad kneer and dutch pianist albert van veenendaal feature their own work and that of other european colleagues of the more experimental field.

    striking is the characteristic layout of thin black cardboard with a circular hole (the image appears only on the inlay card). edition no. 14 is dedicated to gianni lenoci. the first piece of ephemeral rhizome is based on the sequence of two notes, developed endlessly; they are the core generator of self-reflective and meditative developments: an incantatory proliferation, but sixteen minutes are perhaps a bit too much. "afrika métropolitaine," "bluish" and "ephemeral rhizome" have mostly rugged trails with percussion patterns, interspersed with some moments of relative relaxation. especially the swirling "bluish" might recall the descent into tristan’s maelstrom, which is refreshing and extreme. agglomerations of the thoughtful "in retrospect" are sewn together by short breaks of suspension. i can’t give an ultimate description, about the sake of the quite impressionistic glimpses in "acid rain", with its dense and tiny drips. so we are dealing with busy and demanding work, representing the aesthetic vision of lenoci; a piano solo cd, made for this type of label, which pushed necessarily his sound to the more experimental side of his uncompromising and creative world. it is a record that partly differs from previous collaborations of the apulian pianist, highlighting the expressive possibilities of a deep relationship between the improviser and his instrument, which can be relaxing and at times conflicting.

  • marc sarrazy, january 2010, improjazz nr. 161

    everything begins with small sounds, repeated notes deform and re-form, mirroring each other. properly insistent layers accumulate on moving landscapes, setting free a mad lyricism, a mineral beauty. in the piece "for robert helps" one dreams of the sumptuous «musiques plastiques» by galeshka moravioff.

    the material in "afrika metropolitaine" is more loaded, clusters abound, cracks become clearer and sail cheerfully between cecil taylor, fred van hove and henry roger. the third piece, "in retrospect", becomes distinctly more ecstatic; lenoci paints here abstract, almost disabused or nostalgic daydreams. the fiercer "bluish" stretches out vigorously in the low register, using wonderfully in base the game of resonance and sustain of the pedal, sounding like angular, hirsute and unrestrained cavalcades.

    in "acid rain", the pianist develops an extremely pointillistic game, the very sharp touch prohibits any effusion… at first the scattered drops of this "acid rain" fall on us without threat, then they bath us in a spectral splendour. finally the last title " ephemeral rhizome ", reties discreetly with the onereic introspection of the first piece and deranges us once more. lenoci delivers us here a sumptuous exploration of the piano, loaded with emotion, audacity and poetry.

  • andreas fellinger, december 2009, magazin für musik und umgebung, freistil.klingt.org

    (…) gianni lenoci finally recorded the piano solo record ‘ephemeral rhizome’ in bari/ italy. the complexity promised by the title, finds her counterpart in lenoci’s music. this improvisation is distinguished by countless ramifications and associatively touches cross references to jarrett, taylor and crispell. mostly however, he becomes engrossed in an autonomous, stubborn manner in the possibilities of this black box with 88 keys. another unmistakable musical document in the sign of the evil rabbit, which wouldn’t have seen the light without this label.

  • joachim ceulemans, 27 november 2009, kwadratuur.be

    the italian pianist gianni lenoci cannot be pinned down easily within a certain style. as a student of mal waldron and paul bley, he is in the first place a jazz pianists, but with the complete keyboard work of johann sebastian bach, morton feldman and john cage in his fingers, this proves not to do him justice after all.

    add a vast interest in electronic music and an active role in the improvisation scene and it is entirely impossible for the listener to predict the content of solo cd ephemeral rhizome. lenoci presents here a very varied menu in six courses, where he takes each time largely the time to tell its tale. here especially his striving for entity within an environment is notable. the dark regions in which the dissonant ' africa metropolitaine' stays, are never left thanks to a constant barrage of thick clusters, heavy diffuse lines and merciless hits on the keyboard.

    the long ' for robert helps' is of a complete different, more repetitive order. here, minimalism looks around the corner, with short expressions of two notes, which find strength in repetition and are fed by the continuous suggestions of the left hand. while developing, the dynamics in this piece will play a more and more prominent role and lenoci breaks gradually out from the imposed pattern with grasped melodious inversions.

    the minimal music van terry riley and steve reich returns more explicitly in the title track, in which the trembling and pulsating fragments shift among each other as open sound pools and create in this way always changing harmonies. 'ephemeral rhizome' contains a number of passages, which show the influence of some teachers on this italian pianist. the lyricism of mal waldron comes to the surface more than once in 'for robert helps', where especially importance is attached to a single, strongly accentuated core melody, instead of endless searching, when lenoci provides himself some freedom. the lived-through but frequently black romanticism that follows generally with waldron, remains here in default. lenoci chooses rather for the dissonant solution when he wants to drag the listener discreetly in the depth, a trick, he probably could have learned from paul bley.

    the colliding harmonies in 'in retrospect' that nevertheless in one or another way remain well in the ear can be seen as a clear proof. lenoci listens in this piece patiently to the resonating strings and adds in the following treacherous turns, which confuses, surprises and defies the listener time by time.

    gianni lenoci made with this album an intriguing piece of work that seems to unite many worlds within one same resonance body. the multi-purpose character of this pianist on 'ephemeral rhizome' clearly feeds the music, because the album bathes in spite of many diverse pieces in a positive musical continuity, which asks for much respect and reverence.

  • herman te loo, november 9, 2009, jazzflits.nl

    the dutch label evil rabbit records spreads out its wings still further, because it isn’t longer limited to work of dutch musicians. ‘ephemeral rhizome’, the solo piano cd by the italian pianist gianni lenoci is the proof. where the label doesn’t change anything are the principles: exciting improvised music with a distinctive european face. also, we can’t easily determine lenoci as an american. the first long piece on the cd, ‘for robert helps', has more in common with the piano music of french impressionists, than with blues and gospel. with many tremolos, lenoci produces a rippling, meandering musical line that is worth following. still, ‘ephemeral rhizome’ doesn’t stick to this kind of friendly impressionistic music. in 'afrika métropolitaine’, the italian works with cecil taylor-like, hammered clusters and in ‘bluish’ he plays powerful the interior of the piano. this last part is also the most jazz-like.

    as the title suggests, he just cautiously touches a kind of blues, not full on, more like a watercolorist.

  • luc bouquet, november 2009, lesondugrisli.com

    already noticed at the side of joelle léandre, as an improviser gianni lenoci has a solid classical background. therefore he knows how to build, bind and dramatize himself a composition. at the contrary, improvisation and its thousand and one cabals is built sometimes on what ends up frightening those who approach it. here, gianni lenoci does not synthesize anything, but does not move back from nothing either.

    Having neither center nor capital, one could say about this music that it wanders with the phantoms of the past. that it exaggerates its virtuosity, that it is inclined with too many walls, that it does not hold the promise of the obsessions contained in the first notes of the disc. one will prefer to follow the only way that the improviser chose himself: the one of the present. a present, which does not want (cannot) forget the past and which thinks of the future like a refusal of the uncertain and vagrancy. that is to say about a music, which would not seek any more the rebirth, since having found it for a long time.

  • zipo, 15 september 2009, aufabwegen.de

    after several spirit-of-the-moment releases with improvised music, there is now on this beautiful dutch label a cd with sounds of new music. in 2008 the italian gianni lenoci has recorded a good hour of sparkling piano music, which owns a chamber-musical severity and concentration, even if it might be improvised.