Any pianist who can attract the likes of drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Drew Gress as part of a trio, and is joined by chic saxophonist Chris Potter on a few tracks, must have something going for him. Antonio Faraт swings confidently on this set of original compositions, and although his playing is a tad derivative, there is no doubting his talent. The pianist fits in comfortably with his all-star colleagues, leaving little question that he has the ability to ride with the giants. His two-handed facility finds him equally at home with varied tempos and rhythmically challenging phrases. On the obstacle course he calls "Arabesco," the pianist marches forward, backtracks, and then continues his progression, following a scintillating improvisation by the often dazzling Chris Potter. On "B. E.," Faraт plays it pretty and gentle, but not too sweet. Unlike some Italian jazz modernists, Faraт does not add humor to the mix, and his compositions and solos do not covertly display the influences of his native land. Rather, his is a universal language that is as at home in Rome, Italy, as in New York City. While he adds little that is new, his solid technique and command should feel right at home anywhere on the globe; that is, where the universal language of modern azz is spoken.
- Steven Loewy (All Music Guide)
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Born in Rome, Italy in 1965, Antonio Farao grew up in a musical family and started playing the piano at age 11. He attended classical music courses with Adriano Delia Giustina and earned his intermediate degree at Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milano in 1983. Since his early teens, he also used to sit in at jazz clubs during intermission and was soon considered a major talent on jazz piano. He performed at numerous international festivals (Umbria, Lugano. Maastricht, Lucerne, Athens. Lyon and others) as well as many TV and radio shows. Antonio was awarded a New Talent Prize at XI Musical Review (1987), the Four Roses Prize as Best Musician in Italy (1991), and also won the most prestigious Concours Martial Solal (1998). In 1999, Antonio Farao was presented as "Rising Star" at jazz clubs all over Europe. Influenced by the early John Williams (who played the piano for Stan Getz and Phil Woods and later became famous for his movie soundtracks). Antonio developed his own style that combines a Mediterranean sense for melody with a deep understanding of the Afro-American piano tradition. A virtuoso with a deep soul, Antonio is hailed as one of the outstanding inventors -on jazz piano today. He collaborated with the likes of John Abercrombie, Franco Ambrosetti, Gary Bartz, Billy Cobham, Ronnie Cuber, Chico Freeman, Richard Galliano, Antonio Hart, Daniel Humair, Lee Konitz, Bireli Lagrene, Didier Lockwood, Branford Marsalis. Tony Scott and many more. The late Kenny Kirkland named Antonio as "the best young piano player to come up for years" and often called him as his substitute in the Branford Marsalis Quartet.