Anthony Belfiglio




Anthony Belfiglio is a talented modern jazz pianist and keyboardist who is also a fine composer and an influential educator. He is an Associate Professor of Music at Belmont University in Nashville in addition to working regularly as a musician. Sonoroscope is his fourth recording as a leader and it is a consistently impressive set.


Performing a mixture of originals and obscurities plus a free improvisation and the standard “You Stepped Out Of A Dream,” Belfiglio heads a group also featuring violinist Billy Contreras, bassist Roy Vogt (Jonathan Wires is in his place on “Dance Cadaverous”), the great drummer Danny Gottlieb and percussionist Beth Gottlieb. The opener, “Sonoroscope,” also features Jeff Kirk on soprano. That funky selection serves as an excellent introduction to the group with fine solos from Kirk, Contreras, Belfiglio (on electric piano) and Vogt while Danny Gottlieb drives the band.


The catchy “213 Cha Cha”  and Wayne Shorter’s ballad waltz “Dance Cadaverous” often put the focus on Billy Contreras, a brilliant violinist who at times recalls Jean-Luc Ponty a little although he has his own individual voice. “213 Cha Cha” also has some soulful piano from the leader that is worthy of Les McCann while Belfiglio is quite sensitive on “Dance Cadaverous.” He is showcased on the solo piano piece “Fort Hood Elegy,” taking the quietly passionate music through a few different moods.


“Improvisation” is a bit of free jazz that is coherent and intriguing. “You Stepped Out Of A Dream” is given a swinging version with solos that are heated and melodic. “Film Scene” is cinematic with one of Contreras’ most adventurous solos of the set and Belfiglio sounding quite inventive on electric piano. Sonoroscope concludes with a post-bop original by long-time composer and educator Ron Miller, “The Babes Of Cancun.” It is a joyful and relaxing piece that will put listeners in a happy mood.


An excellent set of fresh and lively modern jazz, Sonoroscope is easily recommended.


Written by Scott Yanow, author of 11 books including Bebop, The Great Jazz Guitarists, Jazz On Record 1917-76 and Jazz On Film.



Anthony Belfiglio

Songs I Love For People I Love


An important pianist and educator based in Nashville, Anthony Belfiglio recently released his fifth CD and first solo piano disc. For the set he simply sat down at the piano and performed six of his favorite standards, his own “Halloween Song” and the spiritual “There Is A Balm In Gilead.” No edits or overdubs were utilized or needed.


The music flows easily from one selection to another. “God Bless The Child” begins the program with a medium-tempo version that is soulful a la Keith Jarrett. A rapid rendition of “Bernie’s Tune” shows that Belfiglio is very much a two-handed pianist; one never misses the bass or drums during this stirring romp.


A sensitive version of “I Loves You Porgy” leads logically into “Halloween Song,” an original jazz waltz that is dark and a bit menacing. The 1930s swing song “Stars Fell On Alabama” has the pianist playing some light stride that perfectly fits the piece. John Lewis’ “Django” is given a melodic treatment and “All The Way” is quite emotional and heartfelt. Concluding the set is a reverent version of “There Is A Balm In Gilead” that is uplifting.


No matter what the tempo or mood, Anthony Belfiglio both pays tribute to the rich melodies and is filled with fresh variations. Songs I Love For People I Love is well worth listening to several times for there is a lot of subtle creativity to be discovered.


Written by Scott Yanow, author of 11 books including Bebop, The Great Jazz Guitarists, Jazz On Record 1917-76 and Jazz On Film.