November 6, 2018
“An expanding mosaic”. This is how Ubik trio is described by Michele AnellI; we interviewed fhim for JazzEspresso during the presentation tour of the album Dirty Hands.
> Luigi Motta
How was Ubik Trio born? Would you please introduce its members?
Ubik trio originates from our encounter about three years ago. We immediately decided we wanted to play music together by keeping the piano trio line-up. Niccolò Barozzi, the pianist, had some composed material on which to work, and from that moment on we played in studio and live with no breaks.
We then recorded the album and it was released by Abeat. We are growing up, changing… we confront, we meet often and every time we revise everything and we recreate, we smile or, on the contrary, we gnash, as it is in the relationship with your own instrument, that I always think as an interpersonal tie.
Niccolò Barozzi is a pianist from Milan, a student of Franco D’Andrea, fascinated by minimalist music and by electronics. He is the author of the compositions. Daniele Pavignano is a very versatile drummer with a very strong jazz-rock background. I am a bassist who loves to free himself with different music, from mainstream jazz to extreme noise. Each one of us is engaged in many other parallel projects, we are very active, but Ubik unites us and represents for us a fundamental hub. We are organizing a tour for next fall, which will start from our show at Novara Jazz Festival.
To us, the fact that we are a band is very important, each one of us is irreplaceable and represents a fundamental part of an “expanding mosaic”.
A classical trio with piano, drums and double bass, but with a lot of vanguard. Which were the musical references for Dirty Hands? And where do the stylistic and rhythmic choices come from?
An artist, whatever discipline he follows, always has stylistic references, an experience to draw from. Ubik Trio background, as the naming itself declares, is the world described by Philip K. Dick, the author of the novel Ubik. The reality described by the author is very close to the one we know, but it is as if it was “out of focus," close to a complete distortion which will erase its look to replace it with a new one. In such a reality, therefore, it is normal that a “classical trio” as the piano trio is completely moving from an essentially swing aesthetics or from a post-Evans interplay. An element remains unchanged: the acoustic sound. The piano, the double bass and the drum are acoustic instruments with their features and their typical voice that, in Ubik world are “out of focus”.
This particularity is arising, by defining itself better from time to time. Probably, the vanguard has a particular place in our music, there are many references coming from this world. Free jazz, 20th century music, noise, by passing through experimental cinema and visual arts. I believe a lot in the art interaction, in my opinion nowadays as in the past a musician must have as much culture as possible, he must be a subject who is suffering from pathologic curiosity.
What is math jazz and why are you so fascinated by it?
By the definition of math jazz you probably refer to the contemporary tendencies of fusion between math rock aesthetics and jazz. It is one of those places where the classical repetitiveness of rock meets with the typical dynamism of jazz. In my opinion, rock music is mathematically square-shaped, often with no dynamics, very far from jazz but… realities such as Don Caballero, ZS, Steve Lehman, Tim Berne, Supersilent, Steve Reich, Vijay Iyer, Photek are some of the artists I usually listen to and I think that inspired Ubik. The repetitiveness, the tense rhythms, the riffs are typical elements present in the music we listen to. We are more and more going towards this direction, we like to think of the trio as a massive and compact unique block, just like a rock group.
Which are your plans for the future?
We have many projects. Live shows, moments of kinetic dialogue and a real test that allow us from time to time to reconsider everything. The new CD; we love to work in the recording studio where we usually get with very clear ideas and the tracks ready to be recorded. To improve our performances, both as a trio and as single artists. Studying is another very important element of our path.
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