With its ingenious interaction and breathtaking virtuosity, its playing of deep feeling and improvisational daring, and its moments of high humour, O que será, by Stefano Bollani and Hamilton de Holanda makes a great case for the art of the duo. The first audio document of a priority project for both players, this CD was recorded live at the Jazz Middelheim festival in Antwerp in 2012. The musicians’ enthusiasm is contagious: you can hear the audience being swept up by it.
Stefano Bollani, the uniquely gifted Italian pianist, first encountered Hamilton de Holanda, Brazilian master of the bandolim (the 10-string mandolin) on stage at a festival in Bolzano, in South Tyrol, in June 2009. On that occasion they played just two pieces, compositions of Baden Powell/Vinícius de Moreas and Egberto Gismonti, but the empathy between them was immediate and unmistakable.
That meeting – which can be seen and heard on YouTube, incidentally – left the players hungry for more. In August 2011, they reunited for their first complete show together, in Ischia, Italy, (working up a full programme of material after de Holanda arrived from Brazil – by air, sea and land – on the afternoon of the performance). The Ischia show established a blueprint for further concerts in Brazil and Europe. Trust and improvisation are the watchwords of this duo, and the decision to record live also reflects their wish to maintain the sense of spontaneity and risk that animates the shows.