Friday, February 08, 2008

Veni Vidi Verona

Here now in lovely Verona Italy in a charming hotel next to the imposing fortress Castelvecchio,the guest of the Italian composer/bandleader/upright bassist Danilo Gallo...I'm rehearsing an album with him and his crack ensemble the Roosters which we will cut tomorrow in Milano...and then I'm going to join Caroline for some much deserved R&R in Venice for a few days before heading back to NYC. This has been an exceedingly good tour, the remainder of my Spanish shows passed by like a dream, Bilbao and Zaragoza had such great audiences, and I got to roadtest many new compositions and songs...then off to Italy via Paris (you think I telegraph all my punches?)

now I'm here on a springlike Italian morning on the internet again,about to head off to rehearsal at the house of our drummer Zeno de Rossi, who I ran into a few weeks ago in New York at the Globalfest at Webster Hall, he is really an amazing percussionist and composer in his own right and is currently also playing in a trio with my pal Greg Cohen...the rest of the lineup for this album is Achille Succi on bass clarinet, who gets such a lovely tone while improvising like a fiend, and the Berlin based trombonist Gerhard Gschlossl, who is a delight to trade off with (and I've worked with some great bone players, from Roswell Rudd to big Joe Fiedler to young Joe Hendel)...I was thrilled when I was asked to do the date,as Danilo is considered one of the premier new music guys on the international scene, and delighted that both he and Zeno were fans of my music and guitarslinging, I guess you might describe his music as very mysterious, full of surprises, kind of chamber music that partakes equally of jazz, rock, folk, and world influences to arrive at a very distinctive sound of its own (labels are so limiting, you know?)...

I havent been in Italy since the BergamoJazz Festival last March and its always a treat to be here (especially making music with such world class players)...the weather in Spain was crystal clear blue skies on my last day there before flying here and I seem to have brought it with me, everywhere this medieval town (very famous of course from Shakespeare's several plays set here, although he himself never actually visited) shines with the jewels of antiquity set off by such soft glowing light in the morning and at sunset, bathing the city in a luminous shimmer...cuisine of course top notch (first night we dined at a restaurant where Zeno's mother was the chef, mmmmmmmmmmmmm), last night after a particularly fine repast me and the guys strolled through the old town past the immense coliseum which predates Rome's, through the crooked winding streets of glistening galleries and boutiques (there is a fantastic Borsalino hat shop in the big Piazza Bra that is beckoning, beckoning...)(actually they're less expensive in NYC, but what the hey)...

night before we took a similar stroll and wound up at the actual house of Juliet, where her statue, in the courtyard under the famous balcony, is supposed to bring good luck when touched, her belle poitrine noticeably polished to a fine golden luster by the multitudes (sic transit gloria juli)...

Okay, downed my cappucino and brioche con creme, now its time to go and play :-)




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