One of Italy’s premier jazz guitarists – Riccardo Chiarion – recently dropped his debut solo instrumental album, entitled Quiet Stories.
According to Riccardo, “I always wanted to record an album playing alone but I was waiting for the right moment to do it. So, this is my first step in the world of solo guitar. I practiced my original compositions for a long period at home in front of a video and audio recorder: this particular approach made me understand how I could express with sounds, the meaning of my music. My goal is to find the right balance between melody and harmony, dynamics and rhythm.”
Taught guitar by his father, Giordano, Riccardo eventually studied with well-known pianist Glauco Venier, followed by a two-year stint studying the rhythmic aspects of jazz with drummer-percussionist Roberto Dani. Later, he attended Trieste Conservatory “G. Tartini” Jazz School, taking both Level I and Level II degrees.
In 1998, he formed the Colussi-Franceschini-Chiarion Trio, followed by playing on Glauco Venier’s Seasons, arranged by Valter Sivilotti.
Encompassing 10-tracks, the album commences with “Delicato,” a mellow gleaming tune utilizing chord-melodic phrasing including harmony, melody, and bass. Dense chords mirror delicious leitmotifs with the harmony fulfilled by wonderful arpeggios.
Highlights on the album include “Hidden Blues,” which exudes oozing bluesy savors atop jazz-flavored fills of a complex and intricate assertion. The flow of the tune runs up and down, as Riccardo injects tasty accents, bright twangs, and aromatic inflections.
“Piccoli Passi” blends darker tints with luminous top notes, as Riccardo demonstrates his exquisite ability to lace the tune with complex, polyphonic textures. “Again” travels on a percolating jazz-infused melody, bright and breezy with hints of pale funk timbres in evidence.
The final track, “Silence,” is my favorite on the album because of its softly tender momentum and undulating rhythm.
As Riccardo Chiarion says, “Jazz solo guitar is not so easy.” Yet he pulls it off with delectable style and velvety grace, delivering alluring music.