Stefano Bollani and Enrico Rava played at the Queens Hall recently. I had seen them play before – a set supporting Tord Gustavsen in last year’s London Jazz Festival – and they hadn’t really set the place alight.
In Edinburgh, they were excellent.
It might be the venue – the Queens Hall is a small concert hall; it used to be a church. It is much more intimate than the Barbican Centre in London.
It might be the musicians – they were in charge, they weren’t the support act, and everybody was there to see them.
It might be that they had the time to do what they wanted – to build the set properly, to pace their performance, to fully warm up.
Either way, it was a cracking gig. Rava’s trumpet was crisp and fluent, with lots of Miles’ like runs and trills, and Bollani’s piano playing was by turns inventive, exciting and thoughtful.
They made some beautiful music – they play together a lot, in duets like this and in Rava’s band, so they a natural understanding.
It was a really enjoyable evening – they were wonderful.