Live in Tortona

Liner notes






CD Reviews













As a rule, while planning the program of the little festival I organize in Tortona every year, I tend to leave one of the three dates free, because you never know: I might miss out on some juicy opportunity. However, in 2007 time was running out and the notorious third evening still hadn't been organized and in spite of my many attempts in various directions, nothing definite seemed to be appearing on the horizon.
It was in this situation – frankly a bit worrying – that one evening Borah Bergman, an old friend of mine I hadn't heard from for years, called me from New York to tell me he was launching a duo with Stefano Pastor, a young violinist from Genoa, and that he would be willing to perform with him in Italy that summer. He told me that Stefano would call me, and he soon did. I only knew him by name, but he had excellent references and so, also considering the great esteem I have always held for Borah Bergman, I couldn’t help but be interested. In any case neither Borah nor Stefano knew that I organize my own festival, so they had called me mainly because they wanted some advice about contacts or festivals they could propose themselves to.
Things then went another way, and it was precisely my own little festival, Jazz fuori tema, that included the duo's very first concert, an unforgettable evening after which Stefano and Borah stayed in Tortona for three days, rehearsing, discussing, and getting to know each other. The RAI (Radio Televisione Italiana), thanks to our friend Pino Saulo, broadcast the recording you’ll find on this CD, with some necessary cuts (the concert lasted in fact a bit less than an hour and a half).
The music is sometimes rasping, sometimes lyrical, a not rarely prodigious dialogue between the piano and the violin, with Borah’s hands running about on the keyboard producing cascades of notes,  each with an exact, determined precision with its own very limpid specific weight. Stefano Pastor plays the game wonderfully, intervening with his violin with its sanded, gravelly, very earthy sound. Homage is paid to Arrigo Polillo, with Spirit Song, dedicated by Borah Bergman after the death of the great Italian critic (summer 1984), a probably never-to-be-seen-again figure that even I, at the time a young contributor to the magazine he used to edit, Musica Jazz, had the chance to know and appreciate (it is worth noting that Polillo was the first to bring Borah to Italy). And then there are the passages born then and there, on that stage, in an interchange with no hesitation and no sparing of creative energy. About all of this words count no more, because – as I have always stated - music speaks for itself. Here more than ever.
Alberto Bazzurro
                Art Director Jazz fuori Tema
 (English translation by Paola Torre)