I was born in
Pisa, Italy in 1954, where I graduated in Chemistry and where I still live.
Since 1975 I've been involved in the promotion of musical events mainly
concentrating on contemporary improvisation and jazz. I used to have a "day
gig" as an environmental engineer at the Town of Pisa, but I happily gave it
up when my work as a music journalist, promoter and historian allowed me to.
You can read here a more
detailed description of my activities.
As a journalist, I am a regular contributor to the Italian Jazz monthly Musica Jazz, where I run a column about jazz and the Internet, besides writing about my favorite musicians. The magazine runs a long monthly feature about the musician whose Cd is covermounted: I signed among others those about Billie Holiday, Anthony Braxton, John Surman, Kenny Wheeler, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Lester Bowie.
My writings have appeared in many other magazines, in Italy and abroad: Avant, The Wire and VJM in England, Signal to Noise in the USA, Coda in Canada, Improjazz in France, Jazzlive in Austria.
On the web, I maintained a column for a while on All About Jazz international. My permanent committments in Siena and Turkey are preventing me to contribute more, but there's a list of my past articles.
I was very happy to accept the offer of my friend Bill Shoemaker to write a column on his exciting web magazine, Point of Departure I also wrote many liner notes for Cds of jazz and improvised music, among them for Gianluigi Trovesi's Dedalo on ENJA, Lauren Newton's Out of Sounds on Leo, Improvisors' Symposium Pisa 1980 on psi, and From Bremen to Bridgewater by Chris McGregor and the Brotherhood of Breath on Cuneiform. As a promoter, from 1997 to 2007 I have been producing a Festival in cooperation with the Italian Instabile Orchestra Association
As a record producer, I am especially proud of my two major Anthony Braxton Cds, News from the Seventies (New Tone) and Small Ensemble (Wesleyan) 1994 (Splasc(h)). As a discographer, I published volumes about Evan Parker, Mario Schiano, and Anthony Braxton. This style of books evolved into my latest "sourcebook" volume about Joelle Leandre, bassiste extraordinaire. You can read a review here.
Here is the press release of the Braxton book with a few reactions, a very nice review by Graham Lock, and here's a review of the Mario Schiano book.
I have been appointed Curator of the href="http://www.sienajazz.it">Siena Jazz Archive, the main resource of its kind in Italy; since 2003, for the Summer Jazz Courses I teach the course of Jazz History.
There I have been able to welcome fellow journalists: among many, I'd like to mention the much missed poet Paul Haines, musician and author Mike Zwerin, a leading light of jazz criticism like Ira Gitler, Downbeat contributor Paul DeBarros. I have never been a serious photographer, but I find digital cameras handy for a quick capture of the atmosphere of a concert. I have been invited for five years as Guest Lecturer by New York University in their Study Abroad program for music in Italy, directed by the extraordinary clarinet and tarogato player Esther Lamneck; Bilgi University in Istanbul invited me to teach several jazz-related courses, and in the Fall of 2004 I gave a course on Sound Archives for the Pisa University.
As my family (mother side) is a native of the small beautiful Barga town in the province of Lucca I naturally started to cooperate with the Barga Jazz Festival; in my family house there the paintings of my grandfather Bruno Cordati are exhibited.
In 2004 the friends of Associazione Puntagiara asked me to organize a symposium about Eric Dolphy. I had the chance to visit the place and follow the excellent program.
Through a series of connections, like writing the liner notes for Anthony Braxton's Live in Istanbul CD and being invited by the International Jazz Festival in Istanbul to cover it for Musica Jazz, I began to visit Turkey and fell in love with the extremely rich and exciting Turkish music scene, and I started to follow it seriously. I started with jazz since I was already familiar with Okay Temiz but after looking around for a while I wrote what I believe is the only overview in English of Jazz in Turkey. (This link now works only if you're a registered user I believe).
For my Turkish friends' here's a presentation in Turkish from the Izmir European Jazz Festival website, and an interview about the concept on European Jazz painstakingly transcribed and translated in Turkish by the gracious Seda Binbasgil who hosted me for an A? Radyo broadcast.
Since jazz is interconnected with many other different kinds of music, especially in Turkey, I started to explore music in general; here's a detailed presentation and enlightening interview with Erkan Ogur, one of the major forces in both traditional and contemporary music in Turkey today, on the very interesting Roots website. Html is not kind to proper Turkish spelling so I beg your pardon for the simplification to letters available in the English alphabet.
Following this interested I logically arrived to Greek music - geographically linking Italy and Turkey - and especially Rebetico, this fascinating mixed and colorful style. A report I wrote about the Rebetiko Gathering is also available on Roots while a few pictures were put online by promoter Ed Emery on the Gathering's own website.
Finally, I thought some of the articles I wrote could be useful for fellow music lovers and researchers so I posted them on this site in textual form.
A Common Bond - Jim Europe, Sun Ra and Anthony Braxton, appeared on VJM (GB) n. 104, Winter 1996
A Study In Contrast, a review of two Southern Italian Festival 1998,
A Postcard from Ankara, mainly dedicated to pianist Tuna Otenel,
and Aise Tutuncu Piano-Percussion Group Cd review were all published on Avant magazine.
A few other texts are available on line: my essay at the conclusion of Evan Parker's Discography
a translation of the liner notes for Improvvisazioni, a cd by Evan Parker - Mauro Orselli - Antonello Salis
You can contact me by email but you have to take NOSPAM out of the address.