An espresso with…
Ilaria Capalbo

February 5, 2019

ITALIAN DOUBLEBASS

We've recently had the chance to interview Ilaria Capalbo, one of Italy's most brilliant double bassists.

 


How did you approach music? And jazz? And double bass?
I've always been deeply fascinated by music. When I was a child, I approached music through the “ordinary” path. I studied classical music, solfeggio (reading and playing music by sight), and music theory. Jazz came to me in a moment of great revolution: I discovered it in my rebellious years at high-school and it completely changed the way I hear and interpret music. After that, I spent years listening to as much jazz as possible.  It was the expressive intensity that mesmerized me. The sense of freedom connected to improvisation and to the beauty of the language. Studying records became, little by little, a spiritual exercise for me. It helped me put my life in order and to grow-up in many ways. Like with many bassists, I started to become confident with the genre with the electric bass; to move from that to double bass was, in a way, very natural.  From there, I never looked back.
 
Which musicians you have influenced you the most?
The Bill Evans Trio was definitely my first great discovery.  One that led me to approach and interpret the double bass and ensemble in which, even today, I still feel comfortable. Gary Peacock, Eddie Gomez and Charlie Haden are also great sources of inspiration. The influence of classical music (particularly baroque) is always around, perhaps more so now than before, especially in the music I write.
 
How did the duo “Invisible Atlas” project come about? You will soon play in London, are you satisfied with it?
I met Stefano [Falcone] many years ago and we shared a part of our musical journey together. The choice of recording the album as a duo, a very complex line-up, was made very spontaneously. We started by working on the sound of the duo.  After that we gradually brought in some original tracks and worked together on some impromptu ideas. The result is an album which encompasses the essence of a journey. In the last few months we toured with Invisible Atlas all around Europe and in February we will play at the Royal Albert Hall which is something that really makes us both very happy.
 
What are your next projects?
We've had a fortunate start to 2019. At the end of spring there will be the release of a trio I worked with and am very happy to be a part of. I'm also working on new compositions and on an album as a leader that will probably be released in next fall.

 
What’s jazz nowadays, to you?
A great example of freedom of expression.
 
How did the experience with Chihiro Yamanaka change you?
Chihiro is a force of nature. An incredibly creative musician with great experience and professionalism. As a double bassist, playing in her trio is both a challenge as well as a continuous source of inspiration. In our concerts, there’s always a very intense energy and a profound interaction between the piano and rhythm section which requires a great control. The last two tours were beautiful and left me with a lot of memories, on and off stage.
 
 
Which musicians you have influenced you the most?
The Bill Evans Trio was definitely my first great discovery.  One that led me to approach and interpret the double bass and ensemble in which, even today, I still feel comfortable. Gary Peacock, Eddie Gomez and Charlie Haden are also great sources of inspiration. The influence of classical music (particularly baroque) is always around, perhaps more so now than before, especially in the music I write.
 
How did the duo “Invisible Atlas” project come about? You will soon play in London, are you satisfied with it?
I met Stefano [Falcone] many years ago and we shared a part of our musical journey together. The choice of recording the album as a duo, a very complex line-up, was made very spontaneously. We started by working on the sound of the duo.  After that we gradually brought in some original tracks and worked together on some impromptu ideas. The result is an album which encompasses the essence of a journey. In the last few months we toured with Invisible Atlas all around Europe and in February we will play at the Royal Albert Hall which is something that really makes us both very happy.
 
What are your next projects?
We've had a fortunate start to 2019. At the end of spring there will be the release of a trio I worked with and am very happy to be a part of. I'm also working on new compositions and on an album as a leader that will probably be released in next fall.

 

 
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An espresso with... Ilaria Capalbo copyright Jazzespresso 2019.
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