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Thursday, December 29th 2011

9:59 PM

September-October 2011 in Italy: A Retrospective

This is how it went!

-Sept. 5, 2011: Fly to Milan, Aer Lingus through Dublin

-Sept. 6, 2011 - Fly Milan to Bari. This one was a comedy of errors. Happened to be the day of national transit strikes! Got to airport (Malpensa) 9 a.m. and proceeded to wait, wait and wait some more, as the flight got postponed later and later. Very fun day at the airport, almost entirely empty. Bar was open, also restaurant. Had a nice cup of tea! At 11, took out the sax and practiced scales and arpeggi. Lovely acoustics. At 2, returned to the gate, and waited again with others, only to read on the monitor at 4:30 that the flight was cancelled. Had supper, took a shuttle bus over to Linate, got another flight leaving slightly after 10 and arrived in Bari around midnight. Loyal friend hammond organist Vito Di Modugno picked me up at the airport, brought me home, and the rest of the night was smooth!

-Thurs., Sept. 8, 2011
: concert at La Quercia, V. Saverio Mercadante, 2, 70020 Cassano delle Murge, Bari, Italy with Paolo Lepore and his Jazz Studio Orchestra  (Vito di Modugno on electric bass). Paolo always puts on a great show. This one featured a marvelous French chanteuse, Natalie L'Hermitte, who sings the Edith Piaf Repertoire very well! And  a marvelous Sinatra-repertoire Italian, Piero Dotti, very lovely guy as well as a fine singer.

- Friday, Sept. 9, 2011: Duo concert: Carol with Carlo M. Barile (pno) - Irsina (Basilicata)(Matera) - Italy - Centro Studi Giovanni Maria Trabaci. Outdoors in main piazza. Compliment on this event:

"grazie Carlo, la magia di una notte impeccabile, l'eleganza della musica jazz amplificata dal genio di due artisti di fama internazionale, il pubblico caldo e competente e una location degna dei migliori jazz festival nazionali hanno reso Irsina per una notte palco di rara bellezza. Io insieme allo stuff del Caffè Ducale continueremo a crederci, è la realizzazione di un sogno, ci crediamo, ci divertiamo e amiamo il nostro fantastico paese. Ci vediamo al prossimo evento..."
Bruno Giorgio.
Carlo has always been a boy genius and now is a man genius. Brilliant pianist and probably one of the few with whom I find no problem at all playing in duo, without a bassist, thanks to his very powerful and clear left hand and great time. A wonderful experience. He actually rolled a real upright piano from a nearby school right into the piazza!
Link to TV news broadcast excerpt from this concert (very brief, towards the end of the link): http://www.tgr.rai.it/dl/tgr/regioni/PublishingBlock-51f9acfe-ab45-47af-b11c-f5aee58e916d.html?idVideo=ContentItem-b785882a-559c-4532-90de-4296d0a47980

- Saturday, 10 September, 2011
: Enoteca Per Bacco, Via Umbria 14, Taranto, Italy  338 5235637  with Francesco Lomagistro (dms), Camillo Pace (bs) e Eddy Olivieri (pno). http://www.perbaccojazz.it/
Proprietor Pino Gentile has decided to make his beautiful bar into a jazz club. He truly loves jazz. A more cordial guy would be hard to find. He picked me right up at the bus station, asked me what I wanted for lunch. When I replied 'salad', he made a beeline for a shopping plaza that had a marvelous salad bar where I could choose from all the beloved 'adds', - olives, artichokes, the works. He then dropped me at my WONDERFUL B&B where I had a great afternoon nap. The gig at his place was absolutely brilliant. What a rhythm section! Eddy and Camillo are new discoveries for me, just wonderful musicians with great swing. And Francesco sounds better every time I play with him.

- Sunday Sept. 11, 2011:  with Paolo Lepore's Jazz Studio Orchestra. Andria, Castel del Monte - Piazza Vittorio Emanuele.
Another great Paolo production. The piazza was FULL!! At least 1000 people including all the local dignitaries. Show was great again. French singer had already gone back to Paris, but Piero Dotti did his Sinatra repertoire and we also had a little New York dedication section in honor of 9/11.

-September 12, 2011:  Visit to Monopoli
. What great fortune to have such wonderful friends in this beautiful town. A hospitable and gracious family. Thank you Donatella & co.!!

-September 16, 2011, 9 pm– Associazione Culturale Cantiere Jazz
 V. Gustavo Modena, 92 (P.zza G.Belli), Trastevere, Rome
 Carol Sudhalter, tenor sax and flute; Olivier Berney (tpt), Mauro Andreoni (pno), Gigi Rossi (bs), Ares Andreoni (dms). Great playing in this rather no-frills, unfinished environment with a very fine jazz audience of real listeners.

Sat., Sept. 17, 2011: Wedding, La Preda, Poggio Catino with Nicola Vernuccio, Roberto Pistolesi and guitarist Gianluca Belpassi. So great to be playing with my Roman 'brother' Roberto, one of my favorite drummers in Italy, and the great Nico Vernuccio on bass, who drove all the way from Pistoia, brought the guitarist, brought the sound system, stayed late so the bride could play dance tunes from her i-pad through his system. It was magical. We were playing repertoire for the American half and the Italian half. I even sang 'Volare' and Dean Martin's 'That's Amore' (he would have cringed though).

Sept. 18, 2011: Garbatella, Largo delle sette chiese in piazza: Mauro Andreoni (pno), Roberto Pistolesi (dms), Gigi Rossi (bs), Olivier Berney (tpt). A great idea for a concert. Played in front of a bar that served appetizers for a very low price that worked somewhat like a cover charge. The sound system and acoustics were great, and that section of Rome is quite trendy and beautiful.

-Sept.25: Jam session at Olivier Berney (tromba)'s house, Frascati including pianist Marco Saratti, Mauro Andreoni and Erasmo Bencivenga; drummers and bassists.

-Sept. 30: Jazz Club Firenze w/Cosimo Marchese (dms), Nicola Vernuccio (bs) and Max Calderai (pno). Always a great welcome here. Owner Stefano's last words: "Come back ANY time!!". Nice atmosphere for jazz.

Sat. Oct. 1:
Teatro Santa Chiara, Pza Santa Chiara, 14, 00186 Roma. Tribute to Philosopher/composer/psychoanalyst Sandro Gindro   with  Corrado Severi Silvestrini, piano/arranger; Clizia Aloisi, voce, Carlo Battisti (dms), Daniele Basirico (bs), Carol Sudhalter (fl/sax), Francesco Pezzella (poetry reading). One of the highlights of my tour. Had to return from Tuscany on a fast train to make the concert, but well worth it. Hope to learn more about Sandro Gindro, this seemingly fascinating Renaissance man who left so many disciples in Rome and influenced so many lives. The poetry, music, arrangements and performances were all equally impressive.

- October 3 to 5: Zurich. A visit to my great 87-year old friend, Madeleine! A jazz fan all her life, she possesses album after album full of photos of her with every celebrity of jazz for the past several decades. Though blind, she is still able to locate any LP in her collection and put it on the turntable in order to test my listening skills. I'm still not able to guess all the players.

-Wed., Oct. 5: Bar Ricci with Giovanni Monteforti (guit), and Mino Fabiano (bs). V. Vittor Pisani, Milan. A noisy, upscale place with a 'happy hour'. They placed us outdoors to compete with the motorcycles, ambulances and other ambient noise. Not much listening going on, but we did get applause even if not much satisfaction. Here I was able to say hello to old and new friends, including Massimo Mainardi and Giovanni Scalori.

- Thurs., Oct. 6. - Hotel Doria  Viale Andrea Doria, 22, Milan. CAFFE’ DORIA JAZZ CLUB. “CAROL SUDHALTER ITALIAN QUARTET”  Carol Sudhalter, tenor and flute; Davide Corini (pno); Luca Garlaschelli (bs); Massimo Pintori (dms).Luca and I spent an entire summer doing gigs all over the North of Italy in 2003. I haven't seen much of him the past few years as he was on the road with a show. It was great playing with him and he is a giant of the bass. And I really loved the whole band.

- Sat., Oct. 8: Carol Sudhalter masterclass, "Dizione inglese per cantanti", Jazz Club di Cuneo. Three great vocalists and a wonderful accompanist, Tiziana Cappellini. Much more to write about this!

-Sun., Oct. 9:  Teatro Toselli, Cuneo: Carol Sudhalter (sax tenore/flauto) Quintet, Davide Garola (trombone e flicorno), Fabio Gorlier (piano), Roberto Chiriaco (contrabbasso), Edoardo Bellotti (batteria). What a nice concert. Part of the Attilio Donadio festival, named after the great alto saxophonist who was Cunean and died too soon.

- Tues., Oct. 11: Association Columbus

Centro Columbus, Sala Multimediale, Centro Missionarie del Sacro Cuore, V. S. Francesca Cabrini, 9, Codogno (Lodi)

Carol on tenor sax and flute; Gianni Satta,(tpt, flugel); Angelo Bifezzi (keys); Enzo Frassi (bs); Paolo Mozzoni (dms). This was kind of an experiment on the part of physicist and jazz lover Michele Celebrano, who did a bang-up job of finding a venue and organizing a band that was a total delight to play with. Carlo, the sound man, also sat in on guitar and sounded quite fine! We had all of 56 people in attendance on a Tuesday night!

- Thurs., Oct. 13: 'House concert' with Giovanni Monteforte (guit) and Carmelo Leotta (bs) presso Licia Barcaro, Strada Vicinale Monte Crocetta 4 - Vicenza.  This was the most perfect musical experience of the entire trip!  Here is a letter from the hostess:

Carissimi Carol, Carmelo e Giovanni, ancora una volta sento di mandarvi un grande GRAZIE!! Giovedì sera ci avete regalato qualcosa di assolutamente unico e speciale, ed è stato non solo un piacere ma anche un onore avervi qui a casa mia. Mai mi sarei aspettata di raccogliere nei pochi metri quadri del mio salotto 3 professionisti della musica come voi!Sono veramente felice che abbiate deciso di venire a suonare qui, nonostante non sapeste nulla di me né del posto dove avreste tenuto il concerto, né di quanto poi avreste portato a casa.

Di sicuro questo concerto non vi ha reso più ricchi materialmente, ma spero che vi abbia almeno ripagato con un po’ di ricchezza umana.

Ora sono qui a godermi il sole che entra dalla finestra e ad ascoltare il vostro cd, e rivivo la magia che avete saputo creare l’altra sera.E non c’è modo migliore per iniziare la giornata!Grazie ancora quindi, è stato molto bello conoscervi e se mai vi doveste trovare da queste parti, un bicchiere di vino e …una zuppa calda vi aspettano! Un grosso abbraccio, Licia

The evening changed my entire life. It was an experiment, something I had thought about for ages: the 'house concert'. I found this one through a sub-group in couchsurfing.org. The experience of sitting in a kitchen, not two feet away from 26 intent listeners lined up on benches, breathing in their vibes towards the music and breathing out the music right directly into their souls. This is what resulted in what Lee Konitz would have referred to as the 'connect', the link to one's most innermost message, not showy stuff, not stage prancing but a real message from inside. As such, it was so, so satisfying and moving, both for us and them. So much so, that I felt I could walk out and never play another club, but just stay with this experience and do more of the same forever. Maybe I will, who knows!?

-Friday, October 14, 2011: Trattoria La Vignetta, Via Monte Grappa, 32 22012 - Cernobbio (CO) with Antonio Cervellino (bs) and Carlo Uboldi (pno). Trio gig in a very tiny space, with a very enthusiastic and welcoming owner who plays some electric bass. Wonderful food and the interaction with the certain tables was powerful, although some talking at a corner table interfered with our doing our most sensitive pieces. Carlo is a fine pianist and if I had my druthers, he would always have an upright or grand to play on, instead of a keyboard!

- Sat., Oct. 15 - City Bar di Chiasso, Corso San Gottardo 25. Carol Sudhalter (flute/sax), Antonio Cervellino (contrabbasso), Simone Daclon, piano e Dario Milan, batteria. Noisy, somewhat 'chic' environment, a 'happy hour' type situation, which at first I thought wouldn't work for jazz. Once they set us up, moved the tables, and we got going, it was a place where one could really 'get down' and be appreciated in this vein. It was a great evening; staff also turned out to be very nice, very friendly and chatty. Can't say much for the food! Not after all that time in Italy.

- Sun., Oct. 16:  Art Cafè Ospedaletto with Angelo Bifezzi (pno), Roberto Agostinelli (bs) and drummer Paolo Traino ..with special guest vocalist, 14-year-old Eleonora Losa. 13, Via Del Cristo, 13 - 26864 Ospedaletto Lodigiano LO. I knew it would be my last night and that I'd need to get up early and fly, and that I'd be tired. But hey, the bands were turning out to be so good, I had to try another one. Angelo's my old buddy and I know his playing is great. So now I've added two more marvelous players, Roberto and Paolo. A great night and such a great way to say farewell to Northern Italy before flying. Roberto was the greatest, went out of his way - picked me up and brought me home too.

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