Bruno Montrone – Unaware Beauty (ENG review)

A.M.A records – Street date March 29 2024
Bruno Montrone – Unaware Beauty

Pianist Bruno Montrone is releasing his new album with our friends at A.M.A Records, a highly respectable label that is not accustomed to producing uninteresting albums. Once again, this time, a little gem flows from this record company. For those, like me, who are not yet familiar with this excellent pianist and composer, here are some biographical elements. Besides spending two years as an accompanist pianist at the “Spoleto Vocal Jazz Workshop” for improvisation classes taught by our friend Michele Hendricks, Bruno Montrone is a pianist born in Bari, Italy, on May 17, 1987, who has been professionally involved in jazz music since 2004. He is considered by specialized critics as one of the best Italian pianists, organists, and accompanists. At the age of just ten, he began studying jazz piano at “il Pentagramma di Bari,” under the guidance of Maestro Davide Santorsola, later refining his skills with Maestro Guido Di Leone. He then continued his studies at the “Niccoló Piccinni” Conservatory in Bari, obtaining a first-level academic degree in Jazz Piano and a second level in Jazz Double Bass. Throughout his career, he has played with important national and international artists such as Gianni Basso, Enrico Rava, Fabio Morgera, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Bobby Watson, Greg Hutchinson, Eric Ineke, Dmitry Baevski, Rachel Gould, and many others, participating in significant events, festivals, and jazz clubs in Italy and abroad. Bruno Montrone has always devoted a large part of his time and commitment to teaching jazz.

Just considering this biographical part, we immediately see whom we are dealing with. Indeed, this album, which is so obvious and delightful to listen to, is based on a complex jazz architecture with intricate arrangements. The choice of the track order is particularly judicious, as is the “live” atmosphere, even though it is a studio album, adding to the liveliness of the performances. The title track, “Unaware Beauty,” which gives its name to the album, seems to be certainly the most personal composition of this album, benefiting from a catchy melody that serves as a kind of guiding thread for the following tracks of the album. It is through this lens, moreover, that one perceives Bruno Montrone’s creative mode, compositions by an artist passionate about beautiful melodies and arrangements that showcase them without excess.

Discographically, he has been involved in more than 20 record productions. On March 29, 2024, his first album as a leader titled “Unaware Beauty” was released and published by the A.MA Records label. “Unaware Beauty” is a trio album featuring the great American drummer Joe Farnsworth and the young and talented bassist Giulio Scianatico. The trio presents a repertoire ranging from Montrone’s original compositions to finely selected standards. The sound is vigorous and powerful, fitting into a strongly Afro-American lineage. The trio is enriched by the presence of two special guests: the explosive American saxophonist Sarah Hanahan and the velvety voice of Serena Grittani. With a skillful combination of bold improvisations, impeccable swing, and exceptional mastery of the language, “Unaware Beauty” stands out as a work embodying the quintessence of contemporary jazz.

A swing that, at times, takes your breath away, always with a melodic line that shines with intelligence, this album is full of superlatives and will certainly be one that you will enjoy listening to until the end of the night.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, March 27th 2024


To buy this album