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Enrico Rava (Italy) with Papa Carlo
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Wangaratta, VIC, Australia 3677
Without question, Enrico Rava is Italy’s greatest jazz musician and one of the outstanding figures on the European jazz scene over the last five decades. Whether playing trumpet or flugelhorn, he has an immediately recognisable sound and approach, one in which the use of space is crucial, giving maximum impact to each expressive nuance in what he plays.
He is a master, capable of fire and lyricism, abandon and control. First inspired to play trumpet by hearing Miles Davis as an 18-year old, Enrico began to attract attention in the mid 1960s, when he played alongside such notable visitors as Gato Barbieri and Steve Lacy. He then spent several years in New York, working with such artists as Carla Bley, Roswell Rudd, Paul Motian and Lee Konitz. Since the mid ‘70s, Enrico has remained based in Italy, often playing alongside leading artists from other countries; leading his own bands; and always setting a very high standard for his countrymen to emulate. He has performed alongside Gil Evans, Cecil Taylor, Joe Henderson, John Abercrombie, Ran Blake, Pat Metheny, Martial Solal, Richard Galliano, Dave Douglas, Paolo Fresu……the list could go on.
He has released over 50 albums as leader (including the 1975 ECM classic, The Pilgrim And The Stars, and the 1995 set based on Bizet’s opera, Carmen). Enrico enjoyed a notably fruitful partnership with pianist Stefano Bollani for around a decade from the mid ‘90s. Their recordings include Montreal Diary (Label Bleu 2004) and New York Days (ECM, 2009). More recently, Enrico has led his Tribe quintet, with some of Italy’s most talented younger-generation musicians. Their ECM album, Tribe, is a highlight in Enrico’s discography. International recognition of Enrico’s artistry have included being named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 2002, and the prestigious JazzPar prize in Copenhagen in 2001.
For his first visit to Australia, Enrico will perform at Wangaratta in three different settings. His final set, on Sunday, will see Enrico perform with drummer Niko Schauble’s band Papa Carlo, featuring Stephen Magnusson on guitar and Chris Bekker on bass guitar. This line-up recorded the beautiful, atmospheric album Night Music (Origin) in 1995. They were scheduled to perform with Enrico at Wangaratta Jazz back in 1996, but a delay in the process for approval of Enrico’s visa meant that he was a late cancellation that year. At long last, they will have the chance to play this spellbinding music (or something very similar) on stage.
“It is Rava’s ravishing lyricism, his pure, burnished tone infused with both warmth and a hint of human vulnerability, that makes this consistently absorbing, musically album so special.” – London Jazz News
“Just because the veteran trumpeter sounds dreamy doesn’t mean he’s not daring. Rava is skilled at conflating those seemingly separate approaches and creates some poetic schisms. A pointed flash of notes might careen from a hazy ballad; a post-bop blazer might pull over for a valuable day dream.” – The Village Voice
Enrico Rava’s performances at Wangaratta have been made possible by the support of the Sir Zelman Cowan School of Music at Monash University.