Argentinian, Amsterdam-based pianist Nicolás Chientaroli began his career as a leader of his own jazz trio, releasing two albums with his Argentinian trio and active in many other jazz outfits in the Buenos Aires scene. The relocation to the more experimental Amsterdam scene led him to record his debut solo piano, the free improvised album «Cada Fuego Es El Primero», where he offers a highly personal approach for playing the piano.
The piano now is not a keyboard instrument but a complex machine of hammered strings, wooden-shaped boards, resonating box, pedals and some keys. Chientaroli improvisations attempt to offer new orchestrations and manipulations of these assembled elements, distilled into sound-based textures. Some of these improvisations follow the innovative work of Catalan pianist Agustí Fernández. These improvised textures are experimental, searching for new game-like, inventive sounds as the volcanic, opening piece «Fuego Hipnótico», the percussive «Chispas Verdes» or creating the disturbing, cinematic atmosphere of «Historias De Otras Dimensiones».
Still, despite the challenging method of rethinking anew his own method of playing and consciously forcing himself to explore and expand his sonic palette, some improvisations enable beautifully structured and impressively melodic textures to surface. The emotional and stormy «Orígenes» or the fractured, moving folk melody of «Fuego Nativo» suggest a similar architecture to the improvised melodies of Brazilian Egberto Gismonti in his earlier ECM releases. The last piece, «Fuego En El Espacio», bridges the experimental and the more structured approaches and offers an intriguing sound universe, engaging and frightening at the same time.
Nico Chientarolo (p), Niels Brouwer (plastic bag, 3)