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Barga Jazz Ensemble plays the music of Frank Zappa

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Ultimo appuntamento con BargaJazz 2017 fra richiami alle radici del festival e ricerca di nuovi percorsi, in piena sintonia con il titolo scelto per l’edizione di quest’anno: “In cammino…”.

Al Teatro dei Differenti  il BargaJazz Ensemble eseguirà una serie di brani di Frank Zappa riscritti ed adattati ad un organico jazzistico, prendendo spunto da alcuni dischi live in cui Zappa ha utilizzato una sezione fiati allargata tra cui figuravano illustri nomi del jazz come Michael e Randy Brecker, Lou Marini, Tom Malone e Ronnie Cuber.

I musicisti sono tutti volti noti a Barga, membri della Big Band che per anni ha eseguito i brani presentati al concorso di composizione ed arrangiamento che da sempre è la peculiarità del festival. Un concorso (e una BigBand) non presenti nel 2017, ma auspicabilmente di nuovo in pista nel 2018 grazie anche alla campagna di raccolta fondi “All I need is Jazz”

L’altro richiamo alla tradizione è rappresentato dal palco dei Differenti, teatro storico del festival da quando si è reso disponibile dopo il restauro (le edizioni precedenti venivano allestite al Cinema Roma sempre a Barga)

Oltre che dal nome di Frank Zappa, già di per se garanzia di originalità, l’elemento della ricerca è invece presente sia nei contenuti musicali che nella composizione del BargaJazz Ensemble: una formazione variabile che attinge di volta in volta dalle fila della Big Band di Barga scegliendo i musicisti più adatti ai nuovi progetti. Un gruppo continuamente in bilico tra le profondità sonore della big band e le atmosfere cameristiche dei piccoli gruppi, alla ricerca di una sintesi forse impossibile da trovare, ma con la ferma determinazione ad indagarne tutte le possibilità.

L’omaggio a Zappa, terzo progetto originale per questo ensemble, nasce da un’idea del compositore e arrangiatore Massimo Morganti. Nella sezione degli ottoni insieme a Morganti, impegnato al trombone, Andrea Guzzoletti e Mirko Rubegni alla tromba. Le ance sono Nico Gori al clarinetto e sax alto (uno dei solisti più apprezzati sulla scena jazzistica internazionale), Rossano Emili al sax baritono e Alessandro Rizzardi al sax tenore. La sezione ritmica è composta da Stefano Onorati alle tastiere e al pianoforte, Angelo Lazzeri alla chitarra, Paolo Ghetti al basso elettrico

 

Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American musician, activist and filmmaker. His work was characterized by nonconformity, free-form improvisation, sound experiments, musical virtuosity, and satire of American culture. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed rock, pop, jazz, jazz fusion, orchestral and musique concrète works, and produced almost all of the 60-plus albums that he released with his band the Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. Zappa also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Publications such as Ultimate Classic Rock and The Independent have described him as one of the most innovative and stylistically diverse rock musicians of his generation.

As a self-taught composer and performer, Zappa’s diverse musical influences led him to create music that was sometimes difficult to categorize. While in his teens, he acquired a taste for 20th-century classical composers such as Edgard Varèse, Igor Stravinsky, and Anton Webern, along with 1950s rhythm and blues and doo-wop music. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm and blues bands; later switching to electric guitar. His 1966 debut album with the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!, combined songs in conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and studio-generated sound collages. He continued this eclectic and experimental approach, irrespective of whether the fundamental format was rock, jazz or classical.

Zappa’s output is unified by a conceptual continuity he termed “Project/Object”, with numerous musical phrases, ideas, and characters reappearing across his albums. His lyrics reflected his iconoclastic views of established social and political processes, structures and movements, often humorously so. He was a strident critic of mainstream education and organized religion, and a forthright and passionate advocate for freedom of speech, self-education, political participation and the abolition of censorship. Unlike many other rock musicians of his era, he personally disapproved of and seldom used drugs, but supported their decriminalization and regulation.

During Zappa’s lifetime, he was a highly productive and prolific artist, earning widespread acclaim from critics and fellow musicians. He had some commercial success, particularly in Europe, and worked as an independent artist for most of his career. He remains a major influence on musicians and composers. His honors include an induction into the 1995 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the 1997 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2000, he was ranked number 36 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at number 71 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”, and in 2011 at number 22 on its list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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