Paolo Fresu Devil Quartet

Paolo Fresu Devil Quartet

Italy 20.7.2019 / 20:00 - 21:00
Cylinders Gong stage

Paolo Fresu (tpt, flh, eff) – Bebo Ferra (g) – Paolino Dalla Porta (cb) – Stefano Bagnoli (dr)

Devil… beyond the good inventions of the Italian style
In order to help us in this presentation we are using a part of the accurate title of a feature by the sorely missed Italian journalist Vittorio Franchini, who labelled the Paolo Fresu led quartet music as “a good invention of the Italian Style”.

Wise people know very well that it’s no good to ‘rest on one’s laurels’, which is what very often happens in the contemporary commercial music scene. Kudos to Fresu and to this extraordinary band that, after an electric beginning on the heels of the successful experience of the ‘Angel’ quartet, found new sap with the new ‘Devil’. And these ‘Devil’ have run a long way in the music territories of our times. Therefore, after this electric and powerful start, through Fresu’s idea of a new meaning of cross breed music or -as he defines it, melangemany were wondering where the quartet music could go. Well, Fresu, Ferra, Dalla Porta and Bagnoli take everyone by surprise proposing the most electric band of the Italian jazz scene of the last few years in a completely acoustic version, subverting canons and habits, also the drowsy habits of many journalists that find it easy to hastily stick labels on a certain project. Fresu’s simply new, and in a way unsettling, idea is to release a completely different record from the previous albums, whose strength lies the fact that is a completely acoustic, played on completely acoustic instruments (including Bebo Ferra’s guitars and Stefano Bagnoli only brushes technique, in which he is a true master).

Going back to the famous Franchini feature, “it’s only jazz, but pushed forward”. Franchini had managed to see beyond, acknowledging the incredible quartet capacity of mixing languages and energy like no one else. The interplay of Fresu with the other three masters of the Italian style (as in the words of the Milanese journalist and musicologist) remain of the highest standard, the one the band got us used to. The substance in this case is shifted in new and creative territories, both in the most aggressive moments and in the melodic and lyrical. Terms haven’t changed and, together with the usual true art of Dalla Porta in a constant state of grace, and the incredible inventiveness of Bagnoli who seems to be improving every day we have the simply perfect version of the acoustic phrasing of Ferra, on the threshold of the modern guitar Olympus.

There’s not much to add about Fresu, who seems to be endowed of the gift of infallibility, offering his unique
sound to a work that seems to having been created to comply to the famous Fedor Dostoevsky quote ‘only
beauty will save the world’.
(vic albani)

* * *
Paolo Fresu (trumpet, flugelhorn, effects, composition)

The village marching band and the most important international awards, the Sardinian countryside and the albums, discovering jazz and his many collaborations, his love of small things and Paris. There are not many people capable of putting together such a diverse array of elements and turn it into such an incredible and fast stylistic growth. Paolo Fresu succeeded in a country like Italy where, for too long, jazz was famous just like Shakespeare or Matisse paintings, Armstrong was little more than a freak show and Miles Davis was acknowledged well after his creative peak.

The magic lies in the spontaneous way in which he managed to convey the deepest meanings and magic of his native land with the most precious of the arts. At this stage of his successful and long career there is no need to list recordings, awards and experiences that have made Fresu an international star, his music loved by many. Inside his trumpet sound runs the sap that has illuminated the European jazz nouvelle vague, the depth of a thought that doesn’t limit itself to music, his generosity that sees him in the right place at the right time and most of all the unending passion that always drives him and that, after entering the wisdom age having passed the fifty target, to think about also what surrounds him, helping young artists and offering them a chance to express their potential through his Tǔk Music label.

His present is a classic and whirly reality, a worthy sign of the omnivore and creative artist he is.

Bebo Ferra (guitar and composition)

Born in Cagliari, began studying guitar when he was 9 focusing mainly on jazz, to become one of the most
important jazz guitarists in Italy and Europe.

He has collaborated with many key players of the Italian and international jazz scene, among them Paolo Fresu, Alex Foster, Andy Sheppard, John Clark, Enrico Rava, Enrico Pieranunzi, Steve Grossmann, Maria Pia de Vito, Billy Cobham, Dedè Ceccarelli, Rita Marcotulli, Franco Ambrosetti, Franco D’Andrea, Mark Nightingale, George Robert, Emanuel Bex, Carol Welsman, Danilo Rea, Eddie Martinez, Gianluigi Trovesi e altri.

He has recorded more than 100 albums, including 20 as a leader and co-leader. He has important collaborations in the theatre area in multimedia projects with Arnoldo Foà, Lella Costa, Angela Finocchiaro, Ivano Marescotti, Claudio Bisio.

In 1997 Ferra has recorded as soloist with the Orchestra della Scala di Milano, music composed and directed by Carlo Boccadoro for the Games ballet. He is also very active in the teaching…holding the jazz guitar desk at Como Conservatory.

Paolino Dalla Porta (double bass and composition)

He is considered one of the most interesting and eclectic double bass player of the Italian and European jazz scene. Since his debut at the end of the ‘70s has always tried to blend the different musical languages that blend creative and improvised music, Mediterranean and world music with the jazz tradition. In more than 30 years of activity has promoted and collaborated with many groups that have contributed to the creation of a real trend of Italian and European jazz thanks to their research in music and original languages: Nexus, Stefano Battaglia, Enrico Rava, Maurizio Giammarco, Elena Ledda, Antonello Salis, Gianluca Petrella, Paolo Fresu and Tino Tracanna just to name a few. He has also collaborated and recorded with many international musicians, among them Pat Metheny, Dave Liebman, Lester Bowie, Paul Bley, Kenny Wheeler, Sam Rivers, Mick Goodrick, Adam Nussbaum, Michel Petrucciani, Don Cherry, Aldo Romano, Mal Waldron, Roswell Rudd, George Garzone, Uri Caine, Bill Stewart, John Abercrombie, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, David Binney, Paul McCandless, Sainkho Namtchylak, Jeff Ballard, Steven Bernstein, Don Byron, John Tchicai,
Avishai Cohen and many others.

Beside many tours and concerts all over the world he has a large discography of over 150 albums, of which more than 30 as leader or co-leader and he is active in movie soundtrack composition. He teaches double bass at the Milan and Piacenza Conservatory and at the summer seminar of Siena Jazz and Nuoro Jazz. Since 2015 he joined the legendary band Oregon, directed by Ralph Towner, and has an intense free-lance activity collaborating with Paolo Fresu, Tino Tracanna, Bebo Ferra, Giovanni Falzone, Dino Rubino, Zlatko Kaucic pannonica and directs various projects (from solo to quintet) for which he composes and arranges original music. In 2008, he was awarded the Best Double Bass player award by Insound magazine, and in 2009 he was “Best Double Bass player” at the Top Jazz, critics poll organized by Musica Jazz magazine.

Stefano Bagnoli (drums and composition)

He started his musical activity in 1978, when he was just 15, and has built an incredible résumé with numerous prestigious collaborations and a huge discography.

Among the many international artists, he has worked with, we’d like to mention Clark Terry, Harry, Buddy De Franco, Johnny Griffin, Tom Harrell, Miroslav Vitous, Joe Lovano, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Uri Caine e Gil Goldstein. He’s been playing regularly with Paolo Fresu, Paolo Jannacci, Dado Moroni, Franco Cerri, Franco Ambrosetti and has taken part in the new Massimo Ranieri Malia project Malia, with Enrico Rava and Rita Marcotulli. He is a well-known talent scout and has been leading his own projects where he promotes new talent. He also spends much time both as teacher and as author of methods on jazz drumming and on brushes. He is one of the most respected player on this subject, and “Brushman”, his nickname by the drummer’s community, never stops astonishing.