Quartetto Di Lucca – Quartetto


Soft Winds
Night In Tunisia
Estate '61
Blues For Carole 2
Like Someone in Love
SKU: RW152LP Categories: ,


It is quite rare to discover on the Italian Jazz scene a successful
ensemble, which passed unscathed through years. Bands are
usually weakened or put in crisis, most of the times caused by
sudden changes in line-ups.
The ?Quartetto di Lucca? is a band of young players which
formerly were part of the amateurial ?Hot Clubs? and some years
ago debuted among the pros.
The quartet of Lucca, however, has a peculiarity of its own, the
ability to defend the results and the continuity of a fruitful
collaboration with a compromise: the pure jazz calling, more
congenial and relevant to the quartet, is flanked by a more pop
concert activity with the specific aim of ensuring the survival of
the first through the latter.
The band was born as a quintet at the end of 1957, with the actual
members accompanied by the guitarist Gaetano Mariani, who left
the ensemble in the summer of 1961.
1958 had seen their official debut in Rome at Quirino Theatre, in
occasion of a contest reserved to rising Jazz stars in which they
were awarded first prize. A few months later, they recorded their
first album as a quintet for RCA Italy. It was the birth of a fruitful
collaboration, which still lasts.
Between 1958 and 1959 the quintet toured extensively; in 1959
the famous venue ?Il Bussolotto?, located on the wonderful coast
of Tuscany, hired them to play among the finest Italian jazzmen
and in that occasion they had been chosen to support the second
tour Chet Baker did in Italy.
The band had the opportunity to play for six months in the USA, a
period in which they could listen to American musicians in their
environment and discover the latest trends.
Once back in Italy, bassist Giovanni Tommaso and vibraphonist
Antonello Vannucchi took part independently in countless gigs
and played with international artists like John Lewis, Kenny
Clarke, Chet Baker, Buddy Collette, Bobby Jaspar and Ren?
Thomas. This experience was vital for the ensemble, which came
back on stage invigorated in the summer of 1961. The ?Jazz Cup?
award, the most important radio show organised by RAI (Italian
national radio and television) was their crowning moment. They were then featured in another famous radio show, ?Jazz in Italia? and many gigs followed. The
band performed a series of concerts playing with a more pop edge at the famous summer club ?La
Capannina? at Forte dei Marmi for two consecutive seasons.
Again, in the jazz scene they reached new heights, with other 15 radio shows, TV appearances on
which they had the chance to play along with Sonny Rollins and Toot Thielemans.
This Jazz LP highlights the most peculiar and characteristically qualities of the quartet: the sharp
and conscious language research, the perfect technique of the musicians displayed in their solos, the
fine choice of repertoire articulated around original themes and the versatile improvisation.
A fine taste for language and structure innovation can be found in songs like ?Quartetto? and ?Estate
?61?, both written by Vito Tommaso. ?Quartetto? is an innovative piece whose vivid and engaging
core is underlined by major chords with solos of piano, vibraphone and bass.
?Estate ?61?, harmonically adherent to the traditional blues structure, is in the first part enriched by
atmospheric tones and nuances; then a spectacular series of solos is concluded by the bass which
leads all to the exquisite ending.
Solos are consistent and technically exceptional: ?Blues for Carole n. 2? and ?Like Someone in
Love? are evidences of the technical expertise and creativity of Giovanni Tommaso. The latter, a
tender ballad written by Jimmy Van Heusen, is interpreted with intense rapture by Vannucchi, who
exalted the beauty of the melody.
?Soft Winds? is a well known theme by Benny Goodman: the version by Aldo Vannucchi is
particularly captivating, with a series of charming solos.
?Gabry?, written by Vannucchi, is a homage to the brief but intense season of west coast jazz and to
the players belonging to that scene.
?Night in Tunisia? is the only song coming from a Bop background: one of the most successful
themes by Dizzy Gillespie is the moment to state the maturity of the quartet and his instrumentalists
as soloists. A trenchant and solid interpretation, proof of the quartet?s refined formal research,
intuition and fruitful cooperation.