Giorgio Occhipinti 


Joelle Léandre 

(double bass & voice)




(Jazz Halò Tonsetter - 1999)

for contacts


1995 Festival Ibleo del Jazz Ragusa Ibla (Italy);

1997 Torhout (Belgium);

1998 Liege Music Days (Belgium);

1998 Bruxelles Music Days (Belgium);

1998 Bruges Music Days (Belgium)



(Tonesetters: TS007)
Joelle Leandre (bass), Giorgio Occhipinti (piano)

Pianists often seem to have the weight of the classical tradition on their shoulders, just like saxophonists have the jazz greats looking over theirs. Here are releases which, in different ways, seem to engage with that tradition without being weighed down by it.

Although Occhipinti is a young jazz pianist, his playing here with Leandre has strongly classical, ven Classical, resonances. The whole thing can often sound like a sonata for double bass and piano, conceived by a delerious Hindemith. If that doesn't sound much like a compliment, it is. These two create wonderfully rich chordal structures, finding a place somewhere between functional harmony, jazz and atonality with not a note agreed in advance.

Occhipinti is great at varying the levels of density in his playing, a concept which his partner for this session understands only too well. And just as the music can range from big, loud chording to light, detailed playing, so it also covers the ground between the melodic and almost soothing right through to (occasional) blasting or insectoid improv. Those who don't know this pianist's work are urged to check this out; it's very impressive, and Leandre, always a valuable duettist, works wonderfully with him throughout.

Richard Cochrane

"The European Duo, c’est Joëlle Léandre, bassiste française bien connue, prête à toutes les expériences, et Giorgio Occhipinti, jeune pianiste sicilien, auteur des thèmes du CD, lui aussi se frottant à ce qu’on appelle l’improvisation européenne avec une maestria peu commune. Il pcède souvent par courtes phrases dans lesquelles passe un stride affolant et époustouflant. Il joue aussi sur une pulsation induite avec un véritable travail orchestral à la main gauche. C’est lui qui fonda ce duo en 1995, c’est à dire que les deux musiciens sont en osmose totale. Il y a du blues parfois chez Joëlle Léandre. Musique exubérante de la déconstruction, voire du chaos, qui sort du cadre traditionnel du jazz, mais qui n’en est pas moins belle et dérangeante, c’est à dire qu’elle fait poser des questions. A vous de trouver lesquelles. Quant aux réponses, elles doivent être dans la musique. " Serge Baudot in "Jazz Hot" (France), February 2000