Nicola Andrioli – Skylight

Nicola Andrioli – Skylight

Heartcore Records’ newest release available January 14, 2022

Nicola Andrioli presents his latest collection of expansive and virtuosic compositions as a bandleader, joined by Stephane Galland on drums, Federico Pecoraro on electric bass, and Kurt Rosenwinkel as a guest on electric guitar. Skylight is an imagined reality and a window into the outside world. It’s an album that combines the rhythmic immediacy of fusion with atmospheric explorations on the flexibility of piano and keyboard instruments in contemporary jazz. 

Nicola Andrioli is a restless creative force in contemporary jazz. His fluid and endlessly inventive piano and synth explorations span 15 years of releases, including recordings and performances with some of the finest jazz instrumentalists working today. His latest release Skylight is an exhilarating listening experience, full of space, drama, and sensitivity.

Andrioli is joined by Stephane Galland on percussion and Federico Pecoraro on electric bass. These musicians have played with some of the most heralded Belgian jazz musicians of their era, including Philip Catherine and Toots Thielemans. Galland is an internationally recognized percussionist whose skills have taken him all over the world to play with masters of percussion from African and Indian traditions, including Oumou Sangare, Doudou N’diaye Rose, and Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman. Pecoraro is a virtuoso bassist that blurs the line between rhythmic support and soloist with ease, and plays in many different projects including Echt!, Kekko Fornarelli Trio, and with Carolina Bubbico. Kurt Rosenwinkel lends his legendary lead prowess to three tracks on the album, and is a welcome shot of adrenaline to an already wildly proficient band.

Andrioli and company possess an almost telekinetic camaraderie that fills these pieces with tenderness, uncanny melodicism and vibrant rhythmic interplay. Andrioli’s piano playing is supremely flexible, oscillating from the driving melodicism of his lead lines on “Riders” and “Espresso”, his tender filmic atmospheres on the eponymous “Skylight”, to the dizzying otherworldliness of his synthesizer work on “Moon”. Galland seems to never rest, always weaving new rhythmic backdrops against his bandmates, and providing an endlessly inventive energetic drive to these pieces, from his lyrical accompaniment on “Skylight”, to his shapeshifting pyrotechnics on “Foxes In the Night”. Pecoraro’s precision and groove on the electric bass shifts effortlessly between easy rhythmic counterpoint and ferocious lead lines, and his deep groove takes center stage on “For Rico” and “Tom’s Garden”. Rosenwinkel’s liquid legato solos have forever changed the sound of jazz guitar in the 21st century. His dense and angular melodies on “Bright Spark”, “Foxes in the Night”, and “Tom’s Garden”, send an already technically stunning band into the stratosphere.

Skylight is emotive, progressive music at its finest, and Andrioli steers his magnificent band with stellar precision. Skylightis as compelling an argument as any could make for what virtuosity in music was always meant to be. Andrioli, Galland, Pecoraro, and Rosenwinkel play together with immense emotional and spiritual connection, and their instrumental facility affords them freedom to explore the outer limits of these tunes, and share in the communal wonder that making music with others affords.

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