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Urban Griot
Giorgio Gaslini - Proxima Centauri Orchestra
2003
Soul Note
Untitled Document

ASSOLO IN URBAN GRIOT DI/SOLO ON URBAN GRIOT OF
Vittorio Marinoni - batteria/drum

ASSOLO IN GUANTANAMERA DI/SOLO ON GUANTANAMERA OF
Daniele Di Gregorio - marimba/marimba

ASSOLO IN BECAUSE THE NIGHT DI/SOLO On BECAUSE THE NIGHT OF
Roberto Bonati - contrabbasso/bass

ASSOLI IN ODISSEY DI/SOLOS ON ODISSEY OF
Gavino Mele - corno francese/french horn
Daniele Di Gregorio - vibrafono/vibes
Rossano Emili - sax baritono/baritone saxophone
Alessandro Benassi - clarinetto basso/bass clarinet
Warner Borgia - tromba/trumpet
Roberto Bonati - contrabbasso/bass
Riccardo Luppi - sax tenore/tenor saxophone
Gavino Mele - corno francese/french horn
Giampiero Malfatto - trombone/trombone
Beppe Caruso - trombone/trombone
Achille Succi - sax alto/alto saxophone
Giorgio Gaslini - pianoforte/piano
Roberto Bonati - contrabbasso/bass
Vittorio Marinoni - batteria/drums

GIORGIO GASLINI FONDA LA SUA "PROXIMA CENTAURI ORCHESTRA" ALL'INIZIO DEL NUOVO SECOLO. LA "PROXIMA", FORTE DI QUINDICI MUSICISTI ITALIANI DI PRIMA GRANDEZZA, SI CONQUISTA SUBITO UN GRANDE SEGUITO DI ASCOLTO E DI AMMIRAZIONE.
SUCCESSO CONFERMATO DAL PRIMO CD "ENIGMA" (SOUL NOTE 121390-21) CHE LA RIVISTA INGLESE JAZZWISE DEFINISCE "GREAT MUSIC". URBAN GRIOT è il nuovo disco dell'orchestra

brani:

URBAN GRIOT (a Giampiero Prina) di Giorgio Gaslini e' una composizione nella quale l'autore immagina che un Griot (il cantore africano della memoria dei villaggi) questa volta moderno, racconti le facce palesi e nascoste di una metropoli di oggi: la città trionfante, la città nascosta, la città della vita come utopia. II Griot in questo caso è la batteria di Vittorio Marinoni. 
URBAN GRIOT è dedicato alla memoria del grande drummer italiano Giampiero Prina compagno d'arte di Gaslini per 25 anni.

GUANTANAMERA
BECAUSE THE NIGHT
Questi due brani segnano l'inizio di una serie di trascrizioni orchestrali di Gaslini, tratte da aree musicali non vicine al jazz. La caratteristica di questa serie è che ogni brano è dedicato a un solista dell'orchestra. In questo caso la marimba (Daniele Di Gregorio) e il contrabbasso (Roberto Bonati)

ODISSEY
In questa lunga composizione Gaslini ripercorre la drammaturgia dell'Ulisse di Omero, in 24 capitoli brevi, con una sventagliata vertiginosa di solisti. Le avventure e le tribolazioni di Ulisse e dei suoi compagni sino al ritorno a Itaca e la successiva nuova irrequieta partenza per nuove mete.


GIORGIO GASLINI FOUNDED HIS "PROXIMA CENTAURI ORCHESTRA" AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW CENTURY. THE "PROXIMA" IS COMPOSED OF 15 TOP-FLIGHT ITALIAN MUSICIANS, AND SINCE ITS INCEPTION HAS GARNERED AN ADMIRING PUBLIC. THE ORCHESTRA'S FIRST CD, "ENIGMA" (SOUL NOTE 121390-2) WAS DESCRIBED BY THE ENGLISH MAGAZINE "JAZZWISE" AS "GREAT MUSIC".

URBAN GRIOT is the orchestra's new CD. The compositions:

URBAN GRIOT (for Giampiero Prina) by Giorgio Gaslini is a composition in which the composer tries to imagine a griot (the African town crier and singer) as a modern figure who recounts the revealed, and the hidden, faces of today's metropolis: the triumphant city, the hidden city, the city of life as utopia. The griot in this case is Vittorio Marinoni's drum kit. "Urban Griot" is dedicated to the memory of the great Italian drummer Giampiero Prina, who was Giorgio Gaslini's artistic collaborator for 25 years.

GUANTANAMERA
BECAUSE THE NIGHT
These two songs signal the start of a series of orchestral transcriptions by Gaslini, and are taken from musical traditions that are not close to jazz. The principal characteristic of this series is that each song is given over to one of the orchestra's soloists. In this case, Daniele Di Giorgio on marimba, and Roberto Bonati on acoustic bass.

ODISSEY
In this long composition, Gaslini retraces the drama of Homer's Ulysses in 24 brief "chapters" with a dizzying string of soloists. The adventures and tribulations of Ulysses and his companions until their return to Ithaca, and their subsequent, unsettling departure for new destinations.

Happy the man who writes his own history. As Giorgio Gaslini has, as composer, as pianist, as bandleader. Much of this significant musical odyssey has, fortunately, been documented over the past 50-plus years (though only a portion of it is currently available; hopefully this will change). But history is/was what occurred in the past, and Gaslini is continually looking towards the future. His vision of the new, the next, has prompted the creation of unexpected work in an unending variety of formats-film scores, symphonic orchestral works, ballets, opera, song, jazz combos, big bands-drawing upon an unpredictable range of resources-bebop, swing, dodecaphony, Schumann, Ayler, Monk, Jelly Roll, "Carmen," Fellini, free jazz, visual art, poetry, Duchamp, Ellington, Schonberg, Sun Ra, Antonioni.... Vision requires experience, imagination, expansion, change. Gaslini's vision inspired his organization of a new ensemble, the Proxima Centauri Orchestra, to correspond to and celebrate the new millennium. Though an extension of his big band recordings of the 1960s as well as his work with and remarkable composing for the Italian Instabile Orchestra-no thread is broken, no experience is lost-there is a freshness here, of personnel, of attitude, of outlook. Their first recording together, Enigma (Soul Note), found them traveling the spaceways, via a Sun Ra tune and Gaslini's "Planets Promenade Suite"-perhaps sharing the symbolism of inner and outer space and personal and communal exploration with the previous concerns of unification and freedom in his "Skies of Europe" (an individual perspective reconsidering Ornette Coleman's "Skies of America"). But this new program, Urban Griot, has its feet planted firmly on the ground, constructing, as it does, a cityscape of poetic and musical proportions, and ending with an odyssey to return to a mythical and metaphorical home.
As a composer, Gaslini has continually shown a predisposition to melody, and, by extension, to the creation of song-that is, a structure that requires concentration, elaboration, and organization to give order to the melos of song. Identifying with a griot, he adds storytelling to melody-and we find ourselves on poetic ground.
Thus the sections of his suite, "Urban Griot," are named after the multiple perspectives of la città, the city, real or evoked, interrupted only by the "stories" related by the spirit of Giampiero Prina, the dedicatee of the work, drummer and longtime collaborator with Gaslini, who passed away last year. The views of this city are not the futuristic visionary architecture of Bob Graettinger's 1951 City of Glass (though Graettinger and Gaslini may have had a few similar concepts and classical influences), with its musical images of mechanized society and psychological stress. Instead, in his reliance on a humanistic point-of-view and inference of a place as living, breathing center of community (symbolized by the interactions, both composed and improvised, of the big band)-via common experiences and the life force: the city as metropolis-Gaslini echoes the American poet Charles Olson, who saw the city as an idealized image of coherence, creativity, and order. Metro- (from the Greek for "mother") polis (or city) becomes the concept of polls, a place of shared potential and a mutually beneficial exchange of energies and ideas.
"Polis is / eyes" is how Olson begins his Maximus Poems: Letter 6, and ends with "There are no hierarchies, no infinite, / no such many as mass, there are only/ eyes in all heads, / to be looked out of." Place thus becomes personal-the individual viewpoint or vision, one's own story to be told. Observation and perception become identification and interpretation, formalize meaning. In "Urban Griot," the drums, played by Vittorio Marinoni, are both the symbolic articulation of Giampiero Prina's story and an allusion to the primal forces of life and order reimagined by the urban poet, starting with a stark percussive motif ultimately redesigned with sophisticated harmonies and colors, as the views of the city (and the stories told therein) become more elaborate and evocative. The ending, "La Città della Vita" (The City of Life), exhibits an optimistic theme and upbeat rhythms in keeping with the spirit of polls that will not die.
Accessibility is a tactic of communication Gaslini does not reject. "Guantanamera" and "Because the Night" are adapted to his vision because both, in their own ways, are urban folk songs and fantasies of love and desire familiar to audiences. So too is the mythic story of Odysseus (Ulysses) who, after his participation in the Trojan War, was set by the gods onto a seemingly endless voyage beset with trials and tribulations, and thus unable to find his way home. Updated and transformed in the 20th century not only by James Joyce in his novel, but also the point of origin of Ezra Pound's poetic epic The Cantos (another related reference to story and song; Gaslini too has compositions titled "Cantos" and "Canto nel Canto"), the mythic odyssey has become a metaphor for life's journey. In his setting, Gaslini isolates and wends his soloists on their own individual odyssey through the melodic labyrinths and harmonic/rhythmic impediments of a continuously changing environment-backgrounds shift, subsidiary voices appear and disappear, fanfares erupt, rhythms bubble up and run contrary to the soloist's direction. "How does it feel, to be on your own, with no direction of home?" as Bob Dylan asked. As Giorgio Gaslini well knows, it requires an authentic inner vision to find one's way, to complete the odyssey and arrive at the city of life. This is his vision, as music.

Art Lange May 2003

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Untitled Document
Giorgio Gaslini
DEDICATO A GIAMPIERO PRINA
       
1
  La città tecnologica 2.21
2
  La città dell'oro 1.46
3
  La città ebbra 0.48
4
  - Giampi racconta - 1 0.57
5
  La città in ascolto 3.22
6
  La città intorno 2.07
7
  La città degli ultimi 1.01
8
  - Giampi racconta - 2 1.29
9   La città della vita 3.16
10   Guantanamera 6.32
    (Joselito Fernandes - José Marti)
arrangiamento di G. Gaslini
 
11   Because the night 5.42
    (Bruce Springsteen - Patti Smith)
arrangiamento di G. Gaslini
 
12   Odissey 28.19
    (Giorgio Gaslini)  
       
   

URBAN GRIOT - GUANTANAMERA - BECAUSE THE NIGHT
Registrati dal vivo il 18 giugno 2002 al Palazzo Ducale di Sassuolo (Modena)/Recorded live on June 18th, 2002 at Palazzo Ducale di Sassuolo (Modena)
Ingegneri/Engineers: Corrado Cristina - Max Gardini di "Mordente Music Service"

ODISSEY
Registrato dal vivo il 21 settembre 2002 al Teatro della Societa' - Lecco/Recorded live on September 21st, 2002 at Teatro della Societa' - Lecco
Ingegnere/Engineer: Salvatore Capacchione

 

Untitled Document
 
Giorgio Gaslini - piano