7 January 2009

Schiaffini Iannaccone Colombo S.I.C. - Pezzo

Here am I. This is my first front page post here.

The album I’ve chosen is a corner stone in free Italian improvised music. This is an almost rare recording, never re-issued on cd, played by one of the first and most important groups in free jazz and improvised music in Italy and perhaps in Europe. Schiaffini and Colombo are master players of their instrument, so this isn’t naive music, isn’t easy to play, technically and for the interplay that requires, music mostly improvised by “total musicians” equally at home with free improvisations, classical contemporary music and folklorical.

If I should find musical roots to this music I can quote: the AEOC, classical contempory music (Vinko Globokar with which Schiaffini studied is the player for which Luciano Berio wrote his Sequenza V for solo trombone, folklorical-mediterranean music.

Before this session Schiaffini had recorded only one album under his name (in 1973) and Colombo two others for the same Red Record this was their first collaboration with this amazing trio who produced two albums in two days at the end of September 1978.

Two annotations: as said in the cover notes irony plays an important role in this music (generally in Italian free-improvised music) so the titles are impossible to translate, being a refined game about the use of the Italian word “pezzo”.

Cover notes (translated from Italian)

Giancarlo Schiaffini is one of the better known in avant-garde and new music in Rome. His story is not so long to tell but it’s rich. Born in Rome in 1942, graduated in Physics in his hometown University; self-taught as a musician, he early devoted himself to jazz contributing, with the “Gruppo Romano Free Jazz”, to one of the first experience of free improvised music in Italy.

Lately he took an interest in European contemporary music; in 1970 he studied in Darmstadt with Karlheinz Stockausen, Gyorgy Ligety, and Vinko Globokar (the master trombone player) and in Rome with Evangelisti. In the same 1970 founded the chamber music group named “Nuove Forme Sonore” (“New Shapes Of Sound”). He plays trombone, and recently has become a member of the Giorgio Gaslini sextet, and has played in many concert dates. Today he teaches at the Pesaro conservatory.

His fellow musicians in this album had played with him many times and they too “have their papers in order”. Eugenio Colombo plays flute, alto sax, bass clarinet (in one track, as does Schiaffini, plays the zink, the ‘18thcentury “cornetto” similar to a recorder with the trumpet’s mouthpiece).

He has played in many avant-garde groups in Rome and has a particular knowledge of folklorical (mostly Mediterranean) music, drummer and percussionist Michele Iannaccone has combined classical musical studies with jazz and improvised experimental music All these experiences are the basis of the music here contained; this record don’t want to be a “jazz record” even if the approach of the players to their intstruments is a jazz one and the derivation from American free jazz is evident. We can better define this music as improvised music: the structures aren’t initially given, are the last result of a collective work in which “alea” plays an important role. The music is the result of a workshop or a collective searching work during many sessionsof improvisation, in this music the feeling and creativity of every single musician interacts with that of the others. The preliminary conditions for similar adventures in the world of sounds are the mutual experiences and similar musical directions of the musicians involved. This mutual experiences narrow the alea’s action field and allow the musicians to centre towards an acceptable and coherent musical result. The last goal of such a collective work is the expression, at a starting point, of the individual sensibility and creativity: to quote Joyce this is a musical “stream of consciousness”. For this reason you do wrong if you try to appreciate this music using musical parameters taken from one or another musical culture. Lookin’ for swing (mostly loved by jazzfans) in this music would be a nonsense, the jazz education of this musician is teared to shreds as the ruins of a disappeared civilitazion: Here we have: the sound, a broken phrasing by the trombone, airy percussions, the sounds (and noises) produced by the instruments played by Colombo, that’s all. The conception is different and so totally different are the results. To appreciate this music you need a great concentration, but first of all an intellectual agreement to the “modus operandi” of these musicians, a wide open and clear mind, free from taboos and preconceived ideas.

Simply read the title tracks: they are the antithtesis of what we normally mean for a “plan”. The title tracks, instead , are a declaration of war (with irony as only weapon) against every plan.

Arrigo Polillo


A1 Pezzacchio A Pezzi (Bad Piece in Pieces)

A2 Tre Pezzi d’Autore (Three author’s piees)

A3 Pezzente (Beggar)

B4 503 Pezzi Facili (503 Easy Pieces)

B5 Pezzo (Piece)

This choice is a "thanks" to sotise/sotisier who gave me the opportunity of posting in this marvellous place.

Thanks again.

Links in comments as soon as possible.

Enjoy the Music! :-)


LYM said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
1009 said...

Thanks, LYM! I'm quite ignorant of the Italian scene generally (with a few exceptions, like the contemporary group Zu), so this is a welcome primer of sorts.

The only other place I know of Schiaffini is the Gruppo Nuova Consonanza. I have a few of their albums (the ones released on CD & the one posted at AGP) & come back to those again & again. Most of those, though (as far as I can tell) remain OOP. Mutant Sounds posted a lo-bitrate (128) rip of *Private Sea of Dreams*, but the rest are in limbo. If any of the CDs are oop I'd be happy to contribute, but it'd be particularly cool to hear rips of those old vinyls if anyone has 'em.

So thanks! More! More!

1009 said...

& since some folks will probably complain about the format & download service, let me say that they both worked beautifully for me. Thanks again!

LYM said...

@ 1009,
Thanks for the appreciation! I had some doubt in posting this one, it's really free and mostly improvised. I was thinkin' to the knowkedge of italian jazz and of free improvised music out of Italy. I think it's almost impossible to know. Only by a few years someone is tryin' to re-issue some jazz albums but, knowing Italy, I've no great hopes for a sistematical and planned reissue. Many labels have closed (DIRE Fo, Fonit Cetra, Produttori Associati, Dischi della Quercia but the Red Record is still in print; the producer thought better not to re-issuing the whole catalogue. In front of the many (too many!)jazz records published in Italy every year no one seems to be interested in jazz history of the next past. Perhaps that history is not so rich in quantity, but has known many talended, creative and truly original musicians, today totally neglected.

See YOU :-) LYM

upkerry14 said...

I have four Maarten Altena LPs that have not made it to CD and are pretty hard to find
(Pisa,Veranda,Tel and Op Stap). Is there an interest in these before I bother digitizing them?
thanks for the tunes. Bill

Robin said...

Thanks for posting this Lym. Completely new territory for my ears and sounds fascinating

1009 said...

Pretty sure, Bill, that folks will be interested in Altena. Sotise can probably confirm based on the interest in the Altena/Lacy set that appeared here some time back.

Have to give props here for LYM's rip. Excellent sound, excellent record. Consistently creative throughout, very high-level playing. Anyone into "non-idiomatic" improv really ought to check this out.

BTW, what do people think of the adjective "non-idiomatic"? Pretentious? Impossible? Useful in any way?

Scott said...

Another winner, thanks LYM for posting this one. As for the Italians, I'm a big N.A.D.M.A. fan, if anyone is familiar with Paura.

sotisier said...

Lym ..great post... incredibly i was about to post both this and the other sic trio album on Red altri pezzi, ive just come back from a friends after a week and here it is 'pezzo' great album, i'll post the covers for this and then post altri pezzi tommorow!

sotise said...

Bill, im certainly interested in oop Altena... apart from the duet with Lacy this is still alive.
if you or anyone else wants to make an occasional post here, contact me at dipmong@hotmail.com...that goes for you too 1009.

Anonymous said...

Great up LYM... Any chance you have Schiaffini's hard to find "Tuba Libre"?

SOTISE said...

Flac pics

tpfkaa said...

Re-up please? Thanks.

claude said...

Can this post re upload? Merci.