March 19, 2018
The Italian jazz ambassador
Francesco Cafiso’s new album is titled We Play for Tips and is the first produced by his new label Eflat. We have interviewed the musician.
How did you choose the nonet musicians?
I chose according to the artistic affinities with my project: all of them share with me the passion for jazz language, tradition, rhythm, pulse, swing, and roots, the blues. I thought that the artistic and technical features of each of them were suitable for what I was looking for in this type of music. They are professionals and we understand each other very well, both at human and musical level, and so this allows us to get well together and to always amuse ourselves, both on and off stage.
The album has many references to New Orleans. Can you tell us an anecdote about your experience there?
The whole experience in New Orleans is an anecdote in its entirety. My intention was to make all the things that a local musician normally does: to play on balconies, with the marching bands and in the various clubs in the city in order to absorb the energy and take inspiration from every encounter. I often played with some of the most representative personalities in the city such as Ellis Marsalis or Alvin Batiste, and I remember with a lot of pleasure the many nights spent at the “Snug Harbor,” one of the historical clubs in the French Quarter; my apartment was precisely above the club. A life experience that left a mark in me and that will remain unforgettable in my dearest memories.
How did you work to compositions and arrangements?
I already composed five tracks in 2015 for the album 20 Cents Per Note, of which this album is intended to be an extension, both as repertoire and line-up. The other five tracks, previously unreleased, were written by following the same direction: fresh music, lively, full of swing and irony but also refined and sophisticated in the use of a certain sound, certain rhythm combinations and in the harmony. I arranged this music with the collaboration of the pianist Mauro Schiavone, by trying to obtain a powerful and robust sound, very similar to that of a big band, even if I was utilizing only nine elements. There has been a huge work of musical direction, in order to create a dynamic and varied track-list, allowing each component of the group to express himself in the best way. I wanted this product to be liked by everybody, even by people who are not very fond of jazz.
The album is the first release by your new label Eflat; why did you decide to launch a label? In streaming times is it still valuable to produce CD’s?
I decided to open my label to reach a new level of artistic independency, in order to produce my works without being obliged to follow the market rules of the other labels, so that I can follow my direction and my times in the way I deem more suitable to my needs, by taking care of every production detail, from sound to graphics. In addition, Eflat was also launched with the intention of producing and promoting other artists who decide to meet the artistic conception of this label. I can tell you in advance that the second production by Eflat is almost ready, signed by Mauro Schiavone. The crisis in the record market does not discourage me because I think that the CD format will not disappear: the hard support and the paper still have an added value that no streaming will ever be able to reach.
The album was recorded live during the 2017 Vittoria Jazz Festival, of which you are artistic director. What are the programs for the 2018 edition?
We currently are in a scheduling phase. The target is always to bring on VJF stages important international artists and great music, by promoting jazz and arts in the area, also through accessory activities such as the exhibitions, the jazz school and the prize, which is an important showcase for the young musicians wishing to approach this world. As far as I’m concerned, organizing the festival is for me an incitement for working to new projects that have the privilege to be launched in advance in my hometown. For the new edition, I still haven’t decided which works to propose.
What are your upcoming projects?
I have many and all different. In addition to the concerts around the world – I’ll shortly be in Iran, Japan, Australia, Canada and Spain, etc., I am preparing some big projects I’m already working at and that I hope will be completed soon. I don’t want to anticipate some particulars but one of them will be with a symphony orchestra, another one in quartet with annexed recording for the Japanese market, and I do not exclude that this nonet will record some more music.
Reservados todos los derechos – All rights reserved – 版權所有 – 版权所有; An espresso with… Francesco Cafiso copyright Jazzespresso 2018.
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