Image Credits: Giuseppe Bassi © Leonardo-Schiavone
December 7, 2018
You’re a huge connoisseur of Asian jazz scene. What do you think about it?
A huge connoisseur maybe not, but for sure I’m curious, because Asia is an immense area and it often happens to me to discover artists who are very famous in their country but completely unknown in ours. In my opinion, jazz spreading and development in Asia can be considered, in certain aspects, a little more vivid than in my country. An example of this is jazz presence in all the commercial activities, in restaurants, in supermarkets, in night stores and in many stranger places. Maybe ordinary people are not aware of the music through which they spend a lot of their day. This is the first thing I noticed by attending any kind of place here in Japan. The musicians’ technical level is very high but, sometimes, it doesn’t touch me that much…
You will play in Japan with Sebastiaan Kaptein and Sumire Kuribayashi… the meeting of three cultures: what type of repertoire will you propose?
I met Sumire by chance. My friend Nico Conversano invited her last summer for a piano solo concert in Andria. I immediately fall in love with her music, with Sumire Kuribayashi’s music. A wonderful woman, so sweet and kind, who unveils a great passion as soon as she sits at the piano. Her sound is pure and distilled, in a constant search for poetry and risk. I decided I wanted to play with her, and so it is. Sebastiaan Kaptein arrived in Japan with Toots Thielemans’ group, a musician who harmonically plays drums, a real music director, a fine and sensitive composer. I met him in Taiwan during a concert in which we played together and, since then, I had been waiting for the occasion of playing in a group with him. She is Japanese, he is Dutch, and I’m Italian: “The shadows, the canvas and the colours”. It’s a trio that can deal with love with a free poetry, but with the colours of far cultures that mix and give life to a new and fresh music. For us, who are playing it, it’s a constant discover, and I wish it will be able to touch our listeners.
Do you have other projects for your next future?
The story I have conceived is called Atomic Bass and I’m presently sharing it with Sumire, Sebastiaan and dozens of Italian, Japanese, Taiwanese and American colleagues. A famous Italian journalist too writes for Atomic Bass; he follows me and teaches me everything I need in order to know Japanese culture. He is called Antonio Moscatello and he writes on paper all the poetry of the meetings, by communicating all the love we’ll be able to raise through our music. Atomic Bass is the crazy dream of bringing music where nature’s fury and human mistake have caused, are causing and will cause pain, because I think that if human beings fed on music, they could find another way to rediscover the good. Many people believe in this story, and many energies are engaged in it: Donatella Altieri and all the staff at Intergea Productions, Cricket Productions, Antonio Moscatello, the musicians, many Japanese and Italian friends.
You recorded two albums with Mission Formosa. What could the meeting of musicians coming from different places and cultures give to jazz?
Nothing more than what is already written in its DNA. What is important, to me, is to continue to mix, to mix ourselves too, in order to satisfy smaller and larger curiosities. The important is the emotion, if there’s no emotion music will no longer have a soul. The exotic has always been a “cultural drug”, the important is to be able to find the human being in all his pure essence, and not to risk to drown in the thrill of meeting with the East.
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