Django in Milan & Rome
The 1949-50 Sessions
Jazz Manouche Italia
The postwar recording sessions included in this budget-priced boxed set are the last ones Django Reinhardt made with violinist Stephane Grappelli. The remaining original members of his acclaimed Quintette du Hot Club de France had departed already, and on the 1st 3 of these 4 discs the guitarist and violinist are accompanied by a trio of Italian musicians: pianist Gianni Safred, bassist Carlo Pecori, and drummer Aurelio de Carolis. Reinhardt and Grappelli are both in excellent form, and their accompanists more than carry their own weight on such familiar fare as “Minor Swing,” “How High the Moon,” and “Swing ’39”; there are also several fun adaptations of classical melodies, such as “Tchaikovsky’s Starry Night” and “Grieg’s Norwegian Dance.” Grappelli is missing on the final disc, but overall this set provides a fascinating overview of Reinhardt’s work at a pivotal point in his career. The JSP label’s packaging continues the company’s admirable tradition of paying loving attention to detail (full credits, new and extensive notes) without imposing expensive frills on the package. Recommended. ~ Rick Anderson
Django plays acoustic guitar on all titles with Grappelli and an electric guitar with Ekyan, the rhythm is piano-bass-drums on all sides, an Italian rhythm section on the acoustic session, a French one on the electric session.
Track 16 (“Manoir de mes rêves”) on disc 3 is a duet of the 2 old friends, 17 (“Improvisation No 4”) an unaccompanied guitar solo … and one of his best, the chordal richness and stupendous timing even evoking an entire rhythm section, which reminds us of Stéphane Grappelli‘s quote “Playing with him was like being accompanied by a whole orchestra”. Simply amazing.
The majority of these recordings are familiar in the form of the Djangologie-LP-box and one “Jazz Tribune” twofer, this is the full monty, a collector’s dream come true. These Rome recordings are also rare recordings as Django, who suffered from terrible depression following the years after his disappointing visit to the USA, didn’t touch his beloved guitar for more than a year, save for this Rome engagement.
What a blessing in disguise, and what a boon to have them all properly edited, the masters not altered to a negative extent, but resounding and full, which was already true with the Djangologie box (it is by now a priced collector’s item), only that you don’t have to worry about your treasured vinyl getting scratches.
As the titles with Stéphane Grappelli are representative of their common work and mostly on a par with their classic pre-war recordings and as the titles. With the amplified Django shows his later stage of musical development, this box can be recommended to anyone interested in Django Reinhardt or all people who appreciate melodious, swinging, heart-felt, swinging and entertaining music. There are 90 pieces in all.
In 1949 Django and Stephane played at the ‘Tarpeian Rock’ a chic ‘Rupe Tarpea‘ nightclub in Rome with an Italian rhythm section consisting of piano, bass and drums. While there, a large amount of material was recorded for an unknown lover of their music. Django apparently recorded 2 versions of NUAGES at this time although only 1 version has ever been released. The results of these sessions (along with the 1950 Rome recordings) remained in a vault in Rome for many years; a total of around 100 tracks were released. The 1st NUAGES recorded in the 1949 sessions produced one of Django’s masterpiece recordings. Stephane does no more than play the melody on the 1st and final choruses (no introduction) but in between Django displays his magical improvisational skills on acoustic guitar – he never played the amplified instrument in Stephane’s company (on record). It could be argued that this was one of the maestro’s finest performances to date on any recording – not just on NUAGES. The second recording of NUAGES from this session remains unissued.- David Gould.
During an evening at “Tarpeian Rock,” one of the patrons, a “cummendatur” Milan, demanded to Django a song by Charles Trenet, the famous “Ménilmontant.” Reinhardt performed, masterfully as always, the song, characterizing his own way. On completion of tune the same gentleman repeated the same title: Django was delighted, thinking that he liked the song so special, and re-run “Ménilmontant” with greater emphasis. Well, you would never imagine, but eventually the “cummendatur” threw a shoe at Django, guilty in his opinion, that it did not satisfy his request! The high-ranking goat had not understood anything!
LA ROCCA, E LA RUPE TARPEA, (The Fortress and Tarpeian Rock. … it afterwards took the name of Tarpeian Rock from Tarpea, daughter of the citadel gatekeeper who was killed there by the Sabines. From that time forward the free fall from the rock would be the fate of all traitors.
Django Reinhardt – guitar Stephane Grappelly – violin
Italian Rhythm Section Gianni Safred – piano Carlo Pecori – bass Aurelio de Carolis – drums
Rediscovered in the late 50s by a RCA Victor executive. Reuniting Django and Grappelly, the selections are a characteristically varied assortment. The standards are well-chosen: Charles Trenet’s “Beyond the Sea”; Fats Waller’s exuberant “Honeysuckle Rose”, and the perennials “After you’ve Gone”, “Lover Man”, and “I Saw Stars”. Several of the originals were written by Django and Grappely. “Minor Swing” was devised a few minutes before a 1937 recording session, later becoming a staple at the French Hot Club. “Bricktop” was also written in 1937; “Heavy Artillery”, composed in 1944, was one of Dajngo’s favorite tunes; “Djangology”, composed in 1935, was his first composition. Compelling versions of Trenet’s “Menilmontant” and “Où es-tu, mon Amour” (“Where are you, my Love?) are bonus track in this set, a striking and provocative survey of the playing of a mature, moving musician.
- I Saw Stars 2. After you’ve Gone 3. Heavy Artillery (Artillerie Lourde) 4. Beyond the Sea (La Mer) 5. Minor Swing 6. Menilmontant 7. Bricktop 8. Swing Guitars 9. All the Things you Are 10. Daphne 11. It’s only a Paper Moon 12. Improvisation on Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique (Andante) 13. The World is Waiting for the Sunrise 14. Djangology 15. Où es-tu, mon Amour? (Where are you, my Love?) 16. Marie 17. I Surrender, Dear 18. Hallelujah 19. Swing 42 20. I’ll Never be the Same 21. Honeysuckle Rose 22. Lover Man (Oh, Where can you Be?) 23. I Got Rhythm Django Reinhardt – guitar Stephane Grappelly – violin Gianni Safred – piano Carlo Pecori – bass Aurelio de Carolis – drums Recorded in Rome, 1949. Released by RCA Victor in 1961. CD Re-release in 2002.
January-February 1949 RAI Studios, Rome
Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli
Django Reinhardt (g); Stéphane Grappelli (v); Gianni Safred (p); Marco Pecori (b); Aurelio de Carolis (dm)
Dream Of You, Begin The Beguine, How High The Moon, Nuages (No 1), I Can’t Get Started, I Can’t Give You Anything, But Love, Manoir De Mes Réves, Nuages (No 2) *, Over The Rainbow, Night And Day, Minor Blues. Nature Boy, The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise, Vous Qui Passez Sans Me Voir, Hallelujah, Nagasaki, I’ll Never Be The Same, Swing, 39. Clopin Clopant, Honeysuckle Rose, All The Things You Are, Djangology, Liza, For Sentimental Reasons, Daphne, Beyond The Sea (La Mer), Sweet Georgia Brown, Lover Man, Marie, Stormy Weather, Minor Swing, To Each, His Own, What Is This Thing Called Love, Ou Es-Tu Mon Amour (Where Are You My Love), Undecided, Improvisation #4, I’m In The Mood For Love *, Swing 42, I Surrender Dear, After You’ve Gone, Mam’zelle *, I Got Rhythm, I Saw Stars, Artillerie Lourde, It’s Only A Paper Moon, Time On My Hands, Bricktop, Improvisation On Tchaikowsky’s Starry Night, My Blue Heaven, Menilmontant, Swing Guitars, My Melancholy Baby, Truckin’, Webster, Micro (Mike), Micro (Mike), The Man I Love, The Peanut Vendor, Just A Gigolo *, Troublant Bolero, Rosetta, Blues Skies, It Might As Well Be Spring, Blue Lou, I’ll Never Be The Same, Brazil, What A Difference A Day Made, Pigalle, Body And Soul *, Que Reste-Il De Nos Amours? */ * Not released.
Francois Vermeille, André Ekyan, Django, Christian Garros, Jean Bouchety, at Le Touquet during 1949
25/10/49 – Radio Geneve –
Django Reinhardt (elg), Andre Ekyan (as,cl), Francois Vermeille (p), Jean Bouchety (b), Gaston Leonard (d) Vogue 228E 6010, Vogue 600121, Vogue 668003, Vogue 670205
Once again a series of recordings, this time for Radio Geneve, remained forgotten for 30 years and contained a version of NUAGES. With Ekyan on clarinet and Django on a Rio electric guitar the contrast between this and the previous recording could not be greater. Django seemed very comfortable with the electric instrument at this time and displayed none of the distortion evident on later recordings. The pattern is the same and Django both starts and finishes his solo in harmonics. The feeling of the whole recording is one of subtlety and the impression given is that the musicians could have been playing after hours in a deserted club to wind down after a hard set…….
(The recordings on the 4th disc or the Rome Sessions, which date from 1950, are credited to the Quintette du Hot Club de France, but by that point Grappelli had been replaced by alto saxophonist and clarinettist Andre Ekyan and the remaining 3 musicians comprised a standard piano trio — an instrumental configuration far removed from that of the original quintet.) The resulting sound is an interesting blend of Reinhardt’s Parisian Gypsy Jazz and the more mainstream small-ensemble jazz sound that was popular both in Europe and the United States at the time.
Django Reinhardt, Andre Ekyan, Ralph Schecroun, Alf Masselier and Roger Paraboschi in Rome (1950) – Django has adopted a Mogar Guitar model with a Round Sound Hole and long improvised perhaps replacement scratch plate with added DeArmond Rhythm Chief Pickup – alas Django’s hand obscures what exact pick-up may be there and that appears to be a Volume Control and a logo or reflection – note the amp lead trial to the ‘fretwork’ case amplifier behind Django – which amp is that and has the speaker been turned to the wall for recording purposes.
Mogar Guitar (no Amplification) as used by Django on the RAI Sessions proving the Manufacturer’s logo on the upper bout and added scratched endorsements – Alain, Mimmo and D Reinhardt.
The round-hole Mogar was a replacement for Django makes sense, because in the photograph, the rosette looks nothing like a Selmer (too narrow). A photo of a Mogar guitar with a round hole, supposedly used by Django in Rome. – “D Reinhardt” is carved into the top in neat block letters, which I’m guessing wouldn’t have been done by Django himself.
Gibson L-4 1927
The L-4 is very loud with a solid bass and sparkly highs. Finished in just lovely in Cheeton Brown Sunburst, the 1927 L-4 was (IMHO) the best combination of features with the richest tone of probably any Gibson archtop including the venerable L-5. The small radius Ebony fingerboard and the neck wonderfully slim. An early 20th century Gibson ‘Orchestra’ collection, a stand-alone showpiece or a piece of US music history.
April-May 1950 ~ RAI Studios, Rome
Andre Ekyan (as, cl), Raph Schecroun (piano), Django Reinhardt (guitar solo), Alf. Masselier (basse), Roger Paraboschi (drum)
Sweet Georgia Brown, Minor Swing, Double Whiskey, Artillerie Lourde, St-James Infirmary, C Jam Blues, Honeysuckle, Rose, Anniversary Song, Stormy Weather, Russian Songs Medley, Jersey Bounce, Dinette, Sophisticated Lady, Micro (Mike), Dream Of You, Nuages, Darktown Strutter’s Ball, Danse Norvegienne, A-Tisket A-Tasket, Manoir De Mes Réves, Place De Brouckère, September Song, Royal Garden Blues, St-Louis Blues, Stompin’ At The Savoy, Reverie, Impromptu, Black Night, Boogie Woogie, Bolero
The next year 1950 there was another recording session in Rome without Grapelli and with André Ekyan, Ralph Schecroun, Alf Masselier and Roger Paraboschi, which is even considered to be worst. In the 600 of the french review “Jazz Hot” Roger Paraboschi relates anecdote about it.
They were playing in Rome in a very smart night-club the ‘Open Gate‘. When they first arrived the proprietress asked them “Is there a guitarist in your band?”. That proved they had never listened to what they were playing. Django turned to Roger Paraboschi and told him “Find out about when there is a train, I am going back to Paris“. Roger had to cool him down saying “Hold on we have just arrived, don’t lose your temper”. Then the proprietress asked them “They showed a movie here, with an extraordinary guitarist, which was a huge success : Le Troisième Homme (The 3rd Man) featuring the Zither not the Guitar. Do you know this tune?”. They had never played it but they accepted. When the fated moment arrives, the head waiter opens the curtains behind Roger and makes a sign showing 3 fingers: “the Third Man“. Django plays it, adding some variations and then moves to another theme in the same tempo and the head waiter comes back and says :”So, are you going to play it?”. How they all laughed. From this moment they used to play it 2 or 3 times each night. It is a pity it was never recorded, with some new variations every night it had become a ‘chef d’oeuvre‘. During the recording session, Roger Paraboschi asked Django to record it, but Django said : “Stop, I am fed up. We played it each and every night. That’s enough”.
Via San Nicola da Tolentino 4
Nuages – Almost a duplicate of the previous version but perhaps a little less subtle. Harmonics to start the solo but not to close it out. The sound of the electric guitar is a little more metallic but not unacceptably so. If you are one of those who believe that Django’s best work was done on acoustic, please give the recordings from this period a listen. You owe it to yourself! ……………….Dave Gould
Fabio Lossani – Django Reinhardt in Italy with CD
Transcriptions of Django’s famous Rome sessions (1949-1950). Includes both TAB and Standard notation. 89 p. with CD.
Daphné, Djangology, Improvisation, La mer , Minor blues , Minor swing (1949 vers.), Minor swing, 1950 vers.), Nuages , Oci Ciornie . Black eyes / Les yeux noir). Sweet Georgia brown . Swing 39, Troubland bolero
Andre Duchossoir had this to offer…
The guitar featured in the picture is believed to be an instrument built by Arthur Carbonnell-Torres II, a Valencian luthier based in Marseilles in the South of France. Story has it that this instrument originally belonged to a guitarist named Marcel Bianchi who brought it with him when he left the South of France for Paris. I can’t say whether Django merely borrowed it from Bianchi or bought it from him.
Regarding the claim – under the photo of the Quintette at Claridges Hotel in 1934, I am not convinced about this. I doubt that Django even knew Marcel Bianchi in 1934.
Attached is a photo of Django playing Bianchi’s Carbonnell in 1937. – Regards, Roger S Baxter
The personnel is L-R Marcel Bianchi, Django, Stephane Grappelli, Jerry Mengo, Coleman Hawkins & Andre Dupont.
In Marseille Arthur Carbonell-Torres II was actively producing fine guitars until he ended his very full career in 1975. His father had been a guitar maker in Valencia before he opened a workshop in Marseille around 1922 where he taught his son the craft. After the 2nd world war the son turned to the construction of concert guitars (numbered from about 300 to 580). He taught the craft to Joel Laplane who had taken over the workshop in 1975.
In the mid-30’s Marcel Bianchi heard Django Reinhardt and immediately began copying his style of playing which may have prompted his to move to Paris in 1937. After attracting Charles Delaunay’s attention at an amateur jazz musician competition, he was offered a job as one of the rhythm guitarists with the Hot Club Quintet partly because Louis Vola thought he might bring some stability to the group. Bianchi recorded 3 times with the Quintet in April, 1937 and his rhythm playing with Baro Ferret elicits very different views as to its quality. It seems he used his Carbonell at these sessions because although, like the rest of the Quintet’s guitarists, he was contracted to use a Selmer in public, he actually preferred the Carbonell.
Bianchi’s tenure with the Quintet was quite short since he wanted to make his mark as a soloist. He left in 1938 to begin a successful career as a free-lance guitarist playing with many of the famous Parisian jazz musicians of the day. During the War, he was conscripted, captured, escaped and finally fled to Switzerland where he began performing and recording with the Jerry Thomas Swingtette. He also obtained an electric guitar and was one of the 1st, if not the first, French guitarist to regularly play such an instrument.
In the early days of December 1948 Grappelli played in Milan at the night club Ciro’s during some evenings and in a couple of concerts at the New Theatre with Joseph Reinhardt (Django’s brother), the double-bass player Giorgio Poli, the pianist Franco Cassano and the guitarist Angelo Servida. “Django, come to Milan immediately! Here there’s the possibility of a 2-month contract at the Astoria, a very elegant night-club in Piazza S. Maria Beltrame, not far from the Cathedral.” The violinist told him after having tracked him down at a friend’s house in Rome.
Christmas brought a big present that year to the young guitarist from Milan, Franco Cerri, who found himself playing on Boxing Day with the best guitarists of the period. Armando Camera – the other guitarist hired – must instead have regretted having signed a prior contract with an orchestra of Turin and being therefore replaced by Piero Visani. At the back of the night club they smoke, Grappelli sips a cognac; Reinhardt plays poker with the double-bass player Ubaldo Beduschi and 2 other people. In the seat of RAI in Corso Sempione the musicians of the Gorni Kramer Orchestra were left gaping listening to Django, who played Cerri’s electric guitar for 20 minutes.
Django may be playing the Cerri’s Electric Guitar at Ciro’s as he is resting his foot on some kind of pre-amp with trailing wires. The other guitarist (Cerri?) is perhaps on his damaged Selmer as this appears to have a belt strap around it and may be only fit for playing rhythm accompaniment. Cerri also played bass and that may be his 2nd instrument leaning against the wall.
This would appear to be the original Ciro’s picture including Grappelli which has been doctored heavily for the preceding image
“Live – he is even more extraordinary!”, exclaimed a customer, since the news that Django was playing at the Astoria Club spread like wildfire and many were the jazz lovers, musicians, guitarists – some of which already well-known – who went to the club that evening to listen to him. Among them were probably Michele Ortuso or Giovanni Ferrero, Cosimo Di Ceglie, Alfio and Rocco Grasso and Franco Pisano. Some had even paid homage to him, like the well-known Luciano Zuccheri, who under his influence founded the ensemble “Quintetto Ritmico di Milano”. Neither tarot cards nor tea leaves could, however, have predicted that the contract would be rejected after only 12 days.
On the train heading to the capital city Django, singing softly “Tornerai” (J’attendrai) written by the Italian Dino Olivier – one of the rare pieces of video evidence – he thinks about the first time he came to Italy: it was 1915 in Livorno and then in Rome. His friend, Vittorio Spina, sitting with his guitar on his lap in one the carriages of the train, remembers Django as a 5-year-old boy who spent his days in the Usignolo in Via Anime Sante, listening to the waltzes, polkas and fox trots he played with Paolo, the gipsy guitarist that Django strolled around Roma with.
Posing in front of a building named in his honour, Stefano Grappelli wears a tricolour scarf around his waist, but it is not the violinist but his grandfather, Mayor of the town of Alatri. “The most important names of wealthy Rome come here” Christian Livorness, a big fan of theirs, informed them while pointing at the Rupe Tarpea, a club at number 13 Via Veneto, at which they were going to play. The 2 friends were attracted above all by the wonderful smell coming from the kitchen, which wafted right into the dining room where they would be playing. A poster advertised: “The 2 fulminating fingers” – Django smiled sarcastically looking at his hand. They passed by a little room, named the Jicky Club, which was used as a dance hall.
The well-selected audience – owing to the prices – was miscellaneous and, apart from some toffee-nosed rich layabouts from Rome, there were people who were really interested in jazz – as well as in beautiful women and champagne. Sergio Sangiorgi, president of the Hot Club of Rome, who once organised a concert in the Bernini theatre in Via Borgognona, moved the chairs around the dance floor in order to better listen to the performance of the Quintet.
Sometimes Carlo Loffredo replaced Pecori at the double bass and when the manouche maestro couldn’t stand the miserable rooms of the Hotel Alexandra anymore, he took him to Piazzale Clodio, where there was a funfair run by some gipsy cousins, who lived in 10 or so caravans. He often spent the night there.
Italian cuisine? “Well, it is not as refined as the French…and how does Gianni Safred lay the table? What about how Carlo Percori serves the plates? Oh mon dieu, Aurelio De Carolis’ pots!” Only a biased palate could state that this cuisine is insipid, avoids taking new risks – also regarding the rhythm – and finding a “broken” accompaniment – with a quite original phrasings and chords and that it forces the embellishment of the accompaniment of Grappelli’s solos with exquisite and strong interventions.
Django agreed that Livorness should take the matter up with RAI – with which he collaborated hosting a weekly programme from France – to get a contract and record 70 songs, which would then may be aired? Classics of the Quintette du Hot Club de France and famous songs, but also recent compositions or tracks that would become standards of the new repertoire. “I also want to play a guitar improvisation in honour of the great Joaquin Turina, who died about 10 days ago”.
Over The Rainbow, Night And Day, Minor Blues, Nature Boy, The World i Waiting for the Sunrise, Vous, Qui Passez Sans Me Voir, Hallelujah, Nagasaki, I’ll Never be the Same, Swing 39, Clopin-Clopant, /Honeysuckle Rose, All the Things You Are, Djangology, Liza, For Sentimental Reasons, Daphne, La Mer, Sweet Georgia Brown, Lover Man, Marie, Stormy Weather, Minor Swing, To Each His Own, What is This Thing Called Love?, Ou Es-Tu, Mon Amour?, Undecided, Improvisation N°4, I’m in the Mood for Love, /Swing 42, I Surrender Dear, After You’ve Gone, Mam’zelle, I Got Rhythm, I Saw Stars, Artillerie Lourde, It’s Only a Paper Moon, Time On My Hands, Bricktop, Improvisation Sur La Symphonie No. 6 De Tchaikovsky, My Blue Heaven, Menilmontant, Swing Guitars, My Melancholy Baby, Truckin’, Webster, Micro (Mike)1-2, Dream Of You, Begin The Beguine, How High The Moon, Nuages 1-2, I Can’tGet Started, I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Manoir De Mes Reves, The Man I Love, The Peanuts Vendor, Just A Gigolo, Troublant Bolero, Rosetta, Blue Skies, It Might As Well Be Spring, Blue Lou, I’ll Never Be The Same, Brazil, What a Difference A Day Makes, Pigalle, Body and Soul, Que Reste-t-il de Nos Amours.
Everything in complete freedom with the choice of both songs and tempo of playing, without any bonds of duration, and sometimes with no fixed arrangements, relying completely on the strong empathy between the guitarist and the violinist. Nowadays it would be called a “live disc” or an “unplugged”. Regarding the mystery of these recordings, with the support of the experience of those who worked in Rai, we would Christian Livorness 2 simple questions:
- Could a national Body like RAI allow the arbitrary use of its recording studios without a contract providing for the payment of the musicians and the relative right of ownership of the recordings?
- In view of the lack of a rigorous control, could it have been possible that someone, maybe a collaborator of RAI, brought home Masters, Tapes or Discs?
At the opening of the cine-theatre Metropolitan of Milan they performed the last concert, the last song, and the last note. Then the roads that the destiny had joined together, giving birth to a fantastic musical fellowship, went their separate ways forever – Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli leave Italy, the chill of March and the snow covering South Italy until they reach Palermo. What remain are the memories and the anecdotes to be told, maybe mediated by the personal perception of events, but above all remain the immortal Great Music. The wind of Jazz blows always quicker among the reeds of brass instruments and a brush more often replaces the plectrum normally in Django’s hands.
In Rome, there were 5 French musicians, gathered together for the last time as the legendary Quintette du Hot Club de France. They alight arrive after a 24-hour train journey. They arrive in Via San Nicola da Tolentino No. 4, where, at the corner of via Bassolati, a great building has been erected a few months before – the seat of the roman administrative department of Fiat: Offices, an exposition centre, galleries, meeting rooms, shops, two cinemas (Fiamma and Fiammetta) and in the cellar, connected by a long staircase, and there was the club which hired them, the Open Gate Club. They have just sent away Sven Asmussen and his ensemble, one of the most highly regarded musicians. “Ach moune! When does the next train to Paris leave?” Django asked Alf (Totol) Masselier, the double bass player.
For sure, playing in that club during dinner was not easy. “3”, gestured Roger Paraboschi, the drummer, granting the request of the maître d’, and away! They started playing for the 4th time the theme of “Il Terzo Uomo” (The Third Man). “As soon as I find a moment I’ll see that film!” said the pianist Ralph Schécroun. The audience were even richer and selected that at the Rupe Tarpea, but among these were Greek ship-owners and American oil tycoons. But where are the Italian Jazz lovers
Rome is beautiful in April, and ten minutes from here is the Trevi Fountain How wonderful it is, stopping by to look at the old column capitals, with a broad-brimmed hat and red scarf around the neck? So, what puts Django in such a bad mood? The irreverent club? The rain that’s started falling? The feeling that time is running faster than his fingers? Still, he has a lot to say and this is why he is recording once again at RAI. Here you are with Andrè Ekyan, the saxophonist and a quintet; all gathered around one microphone in the middle of the recording room. Paraboschi, who was playing a little far from you, is not pictured in this photo, but don’t worry Robert, some 50 years later then a young musician from Milan will send you a photo, in which you too are pictured and in return you will maybe tell him your memories.
Again in the RAI studios but this time he leaves his Maccaferri for a Galimberti – the luthier of the company Monzino-Garlandini – actually you left the acoustic for the amplified one of an electrified Mogar with a pick-up and an amplifier. During those 30 days you run wild. The quest for a new sonority nearer to anxiety that pervades you is a fundamental element of the be-bop era. Because of the electric instrument the phrasing is modified and the anxiety becomes partial distortion.
Anniversary Song, Stormy Weather, Russian Songs Medley, Jersey Bounce, Dinette, Sophisticated Lady, Micro, Dream Of You, Nuages, Darktown Strutters’ Ball, Danse Norvegienne N° 2, A-Tisket A-Tasket, Manoir De Mes Reves, Place De Bouckere, September Song, Royal Garden Blues, Saint Louis Blues, Sweet Georgia Brown, Minor Swing, Double Scotch, Artillerie Lourde, St James’ Infirmary, C Jam Blues, Honeysuckle Rose/Stompin’ At The Savoy, Rêverie, Impromptu, Black Night, Boogie-Woogie, Boléro.
Precious but short-lived documents which disappear after being aired on the radio, but eventually turn up many years later in a roman villa – with the name “C. Livorness” on the gate – some of which fade in his hands, just like ancient roman denarii. You hear thunder, but it is not the sound of applause so much as the rain, which doesn’t want spring to bloom in Rome and prevents painters from promenading and painting portraits.
“Excuse me, does this train stop in Montecarlone (Capena), as in the film “La Route du Bonheur”? Hey Django, Naguine, Babik hurry; the train is leaving!
(by Fabio Lossani)