|Cieli Di Sicilia|
|Maurizio Giammarco e OJdM - Orchestra Jazz del Mediterraneo|
|Silvio Barbara, Salvo Riolo, Dino Amasi, Gianni Morello (tpts) Camillo Pavone, Nando Sorbello, Salvo Distefano, Antonio Aldarella (tbns) Orazio Maugeri, Marco Caruso, Rino Cirinnà, Gaetano Cristofaro, Carlo Cattano (reeds) Seby Burgio (piano) Alber|
| When my friend Nello Toscano asked me to write a new project for the Orchestra Jazz Del Mediterraneo, after long deliberation, I decided to draw my inspiration from Sicily itself. Or, rather, I thought to translate in jazz music some personal observations I got from a land I visited several times, not for professional reasons only, and which enchanted me. Sicily leaves a strong and indelible mark in every visitor. Why this kind of choice? Besides the very simple desire to pay homage to the client, the first reason was to make use of fresh stimulus to find a personal key of contemporary big band writing. But, more deeply, I found some subjects pretty close to the jazz world: Sicily as a symbolic place of high contrasts (where beauty and ugliness cohabit in a very precarious balance), Sicily as a place where a rare proudness of belonging betrays a past of cultural contaminations more mixed than one could expect, Sicily as a living theatre of historical suggestions, which emerge in every single island corner. Starting from these and more observations, and bypassing any reference to a popular music tradition that I don't know and I couldn't be interested in anyway (any folk flavour you might possibly hear is completely personal), the music emerged quickly in a very natural and intuitive way taking the form of an itinerary. An evocative itinerary which gets hold of my memory and mentally brought me back to some places I care about, or better to their skies, silent and perpetual witnesses of terrestrial events, good or ugly as they might be. Cieli di Sicilia is for me like the view of a migrating bird: an emotional and deep look which keeps itself by necessity at a safe distance. In Goethe’s words, a world citizen like me but even less southern than me, who a long time ago already stated: "Italy without Sicily doesn't leave an image in the spirit: only here is the key of everything".|
About the other three tunes in this recording: Migration too deals obviously with past sicilian historical events even if, this time, the metaphor concerns more America's music than the continent itself. Eroi Qualunque is dedicated to the men who pursued their ideals to the extreme consequence of loosing their life, like the fallen in war (besides any flag or historical judgement) or like Falcone and Borsellino, the two judges killed by the Mafia during the '90. Thinking of our fathers' sacrifice we feel simply dismayed, but it's only thanks to their sacrifice that the little we have now we can call progress. Caravan, the Juan Tizol classic here presented with completely different changes, closes the cd opening itself to the mediterranean sea. (Maurizio Giammarco - June 2011)
The Orchestra Jazz del Mediterraneo was born in 1998 from an orchestral specialization course carried out by bass player, composer and jazz enthusiast Nello Toscano. This unit, during the past years, has seen the development of many of the best sicilian young musicians, as Francesco Cafiso, Dino Rubino, Antonella Leotta, Toni Cattano. The OJdM counts many collaboration with very renowned italian and international musicians: Gianni Basso, George Gruntz, Bob Mintzer, Maria Schneider, Fabrizio Bosso, Enrico Rava and Pietro Tonolo, who signed the first recorded collaboration project of the band titled First, released on Philology Records in 2002.
Il Cielo su Bagheria