Yes, it’s been months since I’ve written a music review. As I mention in my upcoming test of the Audio Note UK CDT One/II transport, I’ve had quite a busy 2023–five high-end audio shows in a row, and a big move to a new house. It took an extraordinary CD to bring me back to the proverbial review pile, Lullabies from an Unknown Time from Italian pianist Lorenzo De Finti, which is about as simple and as beautiful as it gets.
Words and Photos by Marc Phillips
Over the last couple of years I’ve mentioned my “mystery source” in Europe, a publicist that encourages independent musicians to send me their latest recordings from such countries as Switzerland, Russia and this album, from Losen Records in Norway. I’ve since identified this source as Arlette Hovinga from Jazzfuel, and her batting average in sending me exquisite and great-sounding recordings must be close to 1.000. This new Lorenzo De Finti release features mostly original compositions, with just a dash of Stravinsky and Chick Corea and some traditional Venezuelan folk music.
Lorenzo de Finti is accompanied on much of Lullabies by Fabrizio Bosso on trumpet, so it’s not just solo piano musings. But it is a stripped-down conversation between piano and trumpet, melodic in a contemporary and streamlined way so that this isn’t about creating unique sounds and noises as much as it’s about conveying specific ideas and themes. De Finti uses the concept of a lullaby to express a musical transition to a dream state, a guiding force to take us to another dimension. “In this difficult time,” the liner notes from writer Corrado Antonini explain, “we all have felt a need a hand to guide us, to show us the way; a hand to reduce the excess of reality and restore balance.”
That’s all the prompting you need to drift into Lorenzo De Finti and Fabrizio Bosso’s amazing performance, but special attention must be paid to the sound quality on this simple red book CD. On that Audio Note UK digital transport, which is dedicated to long-forgotten red book excellence, you’ll hear a piano and a trumpet, inspired. Lullabies does not ramble, nor does it get mired in constant improvisation–this is a modern composition borne from a classical viewpoint, and it will sound like these two gentlemen have walked in through your door, sat down, and started playing music so that you can also drift away and navigate toward your own customized dream state.