The boss man of Italian jazz pianists, Stefano Battaglia is a musical chameleon. On this solo collection, he moves through an astonishing array of styles and syntaxes, all the while expressing his own deft and original musicality with grace and ingenuity. The set starts of with "Tristano," a tribute to the late bebop pianist who fused bebop, modal motifs, and the use of repeated arpeggios in ascending scales and angular intervals to achieve a music that is at once physical and cerebral. Battaglia takes five of Tristano's main themes and, in his playing style, winds them through scalar motifs to come out the other side with an intimate portrait of the man, painted by a student who has extended his concepts. "Transmutation" encapsulates Tristano too, but through chromatic extensions of both McCoy Tyner and Dave Burrell, while nodding in the direction of Marilyn Crispell. Elsewhere, Battaglia reaches into the fake books of pianists from Keith Jarrett ("The Golden Bough"), Bill Evans ("Baptism"), and Misha Mengelberg ("Youniverse"), seeking a point where the seams blur and the different stylistic approaches no longer hold sway in the piano's language. In order to achieve this, Battaglia informs each of his compositions, each of this homages as it were, with an elegant sense of harmonic extrapolation and contrapuntal verve. He leaves an obvious skeleton while decorating it with tonal tattoos: themes and motifs that come from the inside and move to the surface, all the while using his remarkable technical facility to transform his historical and linguistic subjects into newly created sonic paintings of tender, moving beauty.