“It is essential that musicians establish an eternal dialogue. By doing this together, they connect within an ideal "Space", where musical thought, emotions and languages find their synthesis, with the intention of extending the expressive possibilities of the trio and the desire to develop creative freedom, without lose sight of a specific style”.
These words, extracted from the liner notes of the Space Jazz Trio's first album, best express the group's musical philosophy derived from the masterful works of Bill Evans' historic trio, with Paul Motian and Scott LaFaro. The trio appears in the limelight during the first part of the eighties, a period during which the growth of a nouvelle vague of jazz on the Roman scene is taking shape. Among these we find the double bass player Enzo Pietropaoli. Following the militancy in rock-blues formations, Pietropaoli begins to participate, as a saxophonist, in "home" jam sessions together with Danilo Rea on piano, Roberto Gatto on drums, Marcello Piras on electric bass and Carlo Tamponi (he later became first solo flute of the Santa Cecilia National Symphony Orchestra). By choice or necessity, Pietropaoli switched to the double bass, an instrument more congenial to him, to form the "Trio di Roma" together with his friends Rea and Gatto. At the same time he occasionally replaces the double bass player Riccardo Del Fra in the formation that accompanies Enrico Pieranunzi in his numerous concerts. In a short time, the young double bass player joined the group of the Roman pianist on a permanent basis, to which was added shortly after the drummer Fabrizio Sferra (chosen by Pieranunzi after listening to it during a concert at the Music Inn in Rome). In 1984 the Space Jazz Trio was officially born.
In the same year Enrico Pieranunzi, invited by George Gruntz, artistic director of the Berlin Jazz Festival, performed at the Berlin Philharmonie with the Space Jazz Trio together, as a guest, with saxophonist Massimo Urbani. During his stay in the German capital, the pianist meets the founder of the German label YVP Music, York Von Prittwitz, a German baron with an unbridled passion for jazz. The producer particularly appreciates the music expressed by Pieranunzi, whom he has been following for some years now, so much so that he is involved in the creation and publication of the subsequent studio works of the trio formation.
The group's first album, entitled "Space Jazz Trio Volume 1", was recorded in 1986 at the Sonic Studios – in the Prati area in Rome – with the contribution of the sound engineer Massimo Rocci. "Volume 2" will follow, with Swiss drummer Alfred Kramer replacing Sferra (which will return in subsequent works), and several other live and studio records, with the presence of prestigious names on the international scene: Chet Baker, Phil Woods, Johnny Griffin, Woody Shaw and Lee Konitz. From the following "Volume 3" the name of the group will be changed to "Enrico Pieranunzi Trio", a decision motivated by the German producer with these words addressed one day to the pianist - "in jazz the audience needs to identify with a name and a face”.
The trio enjoyed great success with the public and critics in Italy and in Europe and was elected, in the two-year period 1988/1989, as the best Italian group in the referendum "Top Jazz“, announced by the magazine Musica Jazz. Several young musicians begin to regularly follow the trio, which has by now become a point of reference on the Italian jazz scene, in the concerts scheduled in the jazz clubs and music festivals of the capital.
It is a fundamental moment for the maturation of Italian jazz which, having shaken off a certain awe towards the American jazz scene, acquires greater awareness of its own expressive possibilities, to aspire to establish itself internationally. The credit for this growth must also be given to characters such as Baron York Von Prittwitz, with an acute musical sensitivity and, no less important, determined to get involved in recording adventures often with an uncertain outcome. During the 80s and 90s, the German producer who recently passed away continued to publish various records on the international jazz scene with his label, keeping an eye on Italian musicians (including a young and still little known Paolo Fresu).
Use: the record works of the YVP label are recorded and mixed at the historic Bauer Studios in Ludwigsburg, Germany, the same ones where a young American pianist, Keith Jarrett, had made his first records.