Turn Out The Stars: an espresso with Ricardo Pinheiro and Massimo Cavalli

may 18, 2021

Turn Out The Stars a tribute to Bill Evans, is the title of the latest album recorded by the trio that features Ricardo Pinheiro on guitar, Massimo Cavalli on double bass and Erik Ineke on drums. We interviewed Ricardo and Massimo.

> Eugenio Mirti

Why did you choose to approach Bill Evans’ repertoire?
Massimo Cavalli / The Bill Evans repertoire is something we have in common; we admire the music of Bill Evans and the sound of his trio. The interplay between the three musicians was always incredible in every evolution of his amazing trio. Starting with Evans, Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian, and later with Eddie Gomez and Jack DeJohnette and, finally, with Joe LaBarbera and Marc Johnson.
Let’s say that Bill Evans’ music is intemporal and embraces all our three generations with no distinction among styles, ages, and locations, it’s our common ground. Plus, Bill Evans’ compositions are quite difficult, harmonically speaking, exploring tonal and modal colors in a unique way, so the idea to arrange and record his music as a guitar trio set a new challenge that we happily embraced.

How did you arrange the songs? Guitar and piano are very different instruments.

Ricardo Pinheiro / We tried to adapt some of Bill Evans’ repertoire to the trio format. Since guitar and piano are very different instruments in many levels, our idea was not to recreate Bill Evan’s moods, but build our own way of interpreting this beautiful repertoire, and, at the same time, try to add new musical contributions. Therefore, the guitar work had the objective of bringing to life the possibilities of the repertoire.

You use a lot of electronic sounds, and that maybe marks the greatest difference with Evans’ originals: how do you choose the guitar sound for a given tune?
RP / When I think of the sound of the guitar, I try to imagine ambiences and moods suggested by the music. Bill Evan’s music and approach are very specific but can be adapted to more contemporary settings.

In my opinion, the contribution of the album lies in the arrangements, effects, the sound of the trio, and other resources that create new possibilities that keep the original spirit of the music, and at the same time, add new nuances to it.  

Your latest record with this trio was a quintet album with piano and sax. What are the differences in your playing switching from a quintet ensemble to a trio?
RP / Actually, our latest record as a trio is called Triplicity and was released in 2018 by Daybreak Records (a sub label of Challenge). Before that, we released an album in a quintet setting called Is Seeing Believing? (2016), featuring Dave Liebman on saxophone. We adopted a totally different approaches since the arrangements were not directed to the more intimate character of the trio format. Anyway, it was a lot of fun to record that album, and we are also very happy with the outcome.


Will you work on some original music in the future (with this project) or will you consider doing the same work you did with Evans’ material with the work of some other composer? 

MC / Right now we are deeply focus on the promotion of “Turn out The Stars” and with the organization of our European tour. However, we should think seriously about our next project in trio. Recording original music as a crossover and mixture of our artistic and musical experiences could be a good idea. You can have a taste of that listening to Ricardo Pinheiro’s original “Blues Just Because”, recorded in “Triplicity”.

Turn Out The Stars: an espresso with Ricardo Pinheiro and Massimo Cavalli copyright Jazzespresso 2021.
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