Album titled "Chet Baker Meets Enrico Pieranunzi – Soft Journey”. The album was recorded on 4 December 1979 and 4 January 1980 at the Emmequattro Studios in Rome and published byEdipan label
Enrico Pieranunzi: piano/Chet Baker: trumpet/Maurizio Giammarco: saxophone/Riccardo Del Fra: double bass/Roberto Gatto: battery
In 1979 Enrico Pieranunzi with the trio formed by Riccardo Del Fra and Roberto Gatto performed for the first time in concert with Chet Baker as part of the Macerata Jazz Festival. At the end of the evening, the Roman pianist asks the American trumpeter for his willingness to record an album together. At first Chet responds to the invitation with a lapidary "I'll think about it”, and then called Pieranunzi the following week letting him know that he had accepted the invitation. After a few months the two are in the Emmequattro studios in Rome to record the songs for the album "Soft Journey”.
The recording work marks a significant change in Pieranunzi's piano approach, influenced by the minimalist and "whispered" universe of Chet Baker. For this reason, the material is composed by the pianist with the idea of making it as suitable as possible to the unique sound of Chet's trumpet, an aspect already evident from the title track opening of the recording work. The only songs not written by Pieranunzi are “Diurnal animals” by Maurizio Giammarco and “My Funny Valentine”. In the interpretation of this last piece, a standard by R. Rodgers and L. Hart, Chet Baker, on the accompaniment full of pathos and invective on the piano by Pieranunzi, alternates the singing, light and at times poignant, with the refined phrasing on the trumpet . “Night Bird” is undoubtedly the most significant composition of the album: written by the Roman pianist in 1978 and present, in its first version, in the album “From Always to Now”, rose over the years to the status of a jazz standard thanks to Chet Baker who, having fallen in love with the composition, recorded it several times, teaching it to other trumpeters and instrumentalists around the world.