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about

BELLOW'S TRAINING - nBn/013

Ermes Pirlo: accordion
Paolo Biasi: electric bass
Emanuele Maniscalco: drums, pump organ on track 5

Tracks 1, 4, 8 by E. Pirlo,
Track 6 by P. Biasi
Track 2 by E.Pirlo-P.Biasi Tracks 3, 5, 7, 9, 10 by E. Pirlo-P. Biasi-E. Maniscalco

FRESH AIR IN THE COURT OF BELLOW’S 
by Emanuele Maniscalco 
Accordion is a difficult matter when it comes to jazz and improvisation. Sometimes considered less sophisticated than its enigmatic peer, the bandoneon, it had to struggle hard to achieve the same reputation as other established keyboard instruments like the piano or the organ (and all the related electric/electronic devices inspired by them – though the accordion could be regarded as a pocket organ). Hard-core critics of Piazzolla’s instrument usually do not want to mess with the accordion in any way, somehow reminding me of the never-ending (and annoying) discussion between drummers and percussionists. The bandoneon only had the luck to have an ambassador like the late Astor, who elevated it to the status of a classical instrument (and also condemned it to an eternal association with his language). Accordion did not experience the same treatment. The “folk trademark” is a constant issue for the accordion player. In my opinion, this dramatic, raw tension, when embraced consciously, is one of the most interesting peculiarities of the instrument. Anyway, most accordionists of the past fifty years (especially from Southern Europe, where this instrument has a very strong and old tradition), triggered by the jazz language, felt the need to re-codify their phrasing, focusing on melodic/harmonic clichés as approached by jazz players, especially saxophonists. In a nutshell, they tried to extend the instrument’s technical range - even though the virtuosic possibilities within ornamentation were already very rich - and to establish a new literature by overcoming technical limits, in order to sound more “advanced”. This is still what most jazz accordionists tend to do, and I personally find it a bit too kitsch. Ermes chooses to work more on timbre and polyphony - thanks to his deep excursions within contemporary languages and free improvisation - distilling phrases which are almost more reminiscent of church music than bebop. Being a former saxophonist himself, it seems he knew that he would go for something different when he took up the accordion, and I can definitely hear it. Paolo and Ermes are longtime friends of mine, and I can say that they experience music as a necessity. They started working on this project as a duo several years ago, experimenting together and sharing ideas on a weekly basis, for months on end. Both come from a very open-minded approach to music and they are not afraid of melting genres and traditions, from sensuous Latin roots to Shostakovich, going through British prog and minimalism. At first, this collaboration between them looked like a composition workshop more than a real performing band to me: a privileged place where one’s compositional cravings could be indulged without bothering too much about the final result. Obviously, I was wrong. Most of the pieces featured in this record were born as simple sketches which slowly turned into more extensive compositions after the two rehearsed each detail again and again with painstaking care, hence developing a common sensitivity and a strong interaction. No fuss over theoretical issues, just go for the right sound. Just like real bands. When they decided to add some drums to their constellation and asked me to join, I felt both thrilled and challenged by the proposal. Was it possible to serve their ambiguous, ambitious and delicate purpose, without sounding redundant by taking too much space, especially in the dynamic range? I tried not to take this problem too seriously and accepted the first gig in a little bar in Brescia, suspending every judgement for some time (no hard feelings in any case, since we have always been very straightforward with each other, and we still are). Instead, I was blown away by the music, and it also felt very natural for me to find my spot. The rest of the story is the album you have in your hands now.. I mean, a chapter of it. 

credits

released January 2, 2015

Recorded on December 17th, 2012 and mixed during January 2013 by Marco Tagliola at Perpetuum Mobile, Nave (Italy)

Mastered during July 2013 by Giovanni Versari at La Maestà, Tredozio (Italy);
Produced by Ermes Pirlo and Paolo Biasi;
Executive Producer Carlo Alberto Canevali;
Cover by Marta Pirlo;
Liner photos by Emanuele Maniscalco;
Print Layout by Massimiliano Sorrentini

Ermes & Paolo would like to thank Emanuele for his playing, enlightening and wardrobe. Ermes would like to thank Mr. Simone Zanchini (Simon Demon is inspired by his “Moreddu”)

Contact: ermespirlo@libero.it

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nBn Music Italy

nBn Music is an independent label since 2009.

nBn supports innovative contemporary jazz projects and believes in the integrity of its artists.

What you hear on nBn Music is the pure artists vision.
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