NEW RELEASE – DADO MORONI
Moroni is swinging till the girls come home.
Dado Moroni (piano), Jesper Lundgaard (bass), Lee Pearson (drums)
on May 20 & 21, 2016 at Club Montmartre, Copenhagen
as Storyville 1018493 in 2022
There Is No Greater Love
Just One Of Those Things
My Foolish Heart
C Jam Blues
Sixty-year-old Dado Moroni entered the jazz realm as a striking young lion in 1980, made a big impression in New York the following decade and prowled the globe as accompanist of giants as Clark Terry and Ray Brown. He has been a notable recording artist with George Robert, Tom Harrell, Enrico Rava and Peter Washington/Lewis Nash and performed with a who’s who of jazz including Dizzy Gillespie, Ron Carter, Joe LaBarbera, Nicholas Payton and many others. Carrying a long list of albums in his hip pocket, the current professor of jazz piano in Turin, Italy has nothing to prove. Yet, Storyville saw fit to release a live performance from 2016 at the famed Club Montmartre in Copenhagen when the Danish bassist Jesper Lundgaard heard the tapes and concluded that the trio was on top of its form.
Absolutely right, sir. If anything has become clear, it’s that swinging jazz is here to stay, even when the set list consists of old warhorses. Moroni has no qualms about swinging standards to the ground. Just One Of Those Things is particularly furious, not least because of the precise and energetic accompaniment of Lundgaard and American drummer Lee Pearson. Perhaps, There Is No Greater Love reveals the ultimate synergy of the trio, moving from breeze to sweet thunder, the underpinnings of Pearson’s brushes smooth as velvet, his sticks stoking up the fire, Lundgaard steering the locomotive through the fog, Moroni showcasing his special talent of playing simultaneously subtly and fiery. Somewhere between the buoyancy of Oscar Peterson and the long-lined beauty of Cedar Walton, Moroni has found his spot from where he elaborates on the tradition with consistent excellence.
The challenge of Django, the beatific melody of John Lewis which characteristic movements potentially paralyze urges of original improvisation, is met succinctly by Moroni, who by the way got his nickname “Dado” because he continually tripped over his real name Edgardo as a child. Moroni packages the homage to Django Reinhardt in Latin rhythm and is involved in tidal waves of notes that threaten to ruin the coast but barely skirt by the tropical islands of its changes. Close call but mission accomplished.
My Foolish Heart is marked by a strong bass solo. C-jam Blues is a hard-driving tour de force by Moroni. The sole original composition First Smile reveals shades of As Time Goes By. As time went by, the infectious virtuosity of Moroni has been documented by various labels since 2016, solidifying his reputation as the to-go-to Italian piano stallion of his generation.
Here are some Moroni highlights.What’s New from What’s New (1992); Reportedly, Moroni is proud of his solo albums The Way I Am (1994) and With Duke In Mind (1994). Rightly so. Listen to I Can’t Get Started and Ellington’s There Was Nobody Looking. Stablemates on Youngbloods (1995); Young Moroni is the tie that binds Swinging Till The Girls Come Home on Ray Brown/Pierre Boussaguet’s Two Bass Hits (1988); Last but not least, John Coltrane’s Giant Steps from Ray Brown’s Some Of My Best Friends Are The Piano Players (1994), plainly brilliant, find it on the full album at 29:10. The Nearness Of You with Tom Harrell (2007); Moroni’s exciting composition Ghanian Village Live At Beverly Hills with Marco Panascia and Peter Erskine (2010); Plus a feature on drummer Alex Riel’s Full House from 2012, collaborating strongly on Just Friends.
Check out a compilation of Dado Moroni solos with Clark Terry live in 1994 on YouTube, featuring Pierre Boussaguet on bass and Alvin Queen on drums, one of the hardest-swinging trios of the era here!
This is an elaboration on my review of There Is No Greater Love for Jazz Journal UK. Thanks for the musical references, Jean-Michel Reisser-Beethoven.
Final note: Sadly, Lundgaard suffered a stroke which has stopped him from playing bass. Veteran of performances with Dexter Gordon, Chet Baker and many others, he has put an exclamation point on his recording career with typically strong and responsive playing.
Find There Is No Greater Love here.