"Wire - n.37 March 1987"
From Rome (English)
Maurizio Giammarco with his quintet Lingomania has succeeded in creating in Italy the same jazz miracle that Miles Davis did in the 80s, by making people accept the idea of compatibility of acoustic and electric instruments, jazz and funk and swing and rock rhythms. Thanks to the jazz side of his discourse, Lingomania has been elected “Best Italian Group” two years running by the italian jazz critics, who are among the most conservative in Europe, in the Musica Jazz Magazine poll. Not Surprisingly, in the last years Giammarco, who in the 70s studied in the USA with the legendary Joe Allard and at Karl Berger’s Music Studio has made a name for himself as the best italian saxophonist, tenor and soprano.
Giammarco has waited three years to release the first Lingomania record, Riverberi (Gala Records), “to give times for its sound to ripen” (Wasn’t sound a techno-pop term?). “I like electronic instruments for their tones. Electronic timbres inspire me with an athmosphere different to that of acoustic instruments”.
With the sinth guitar playing of Umberto Fiorentino, one of the top men in Europe, as well as the electronic keyboard playing of Danilo Rea, Giammarco pursues a tonal post-avantgarde. “Every musician should go through the historical avantgarde and experimental languages. But nowadays, I think that tonality still offers marvellous opportunities to create deep musical textures. For example, Wynton Marsalis is only just starting to expand upon the territory already discovered by the historical Miles Davis quintet with Hancock and Shorter”.
Roberto Gatto on drums and Furio Di Castri on Bass (now replaced by Enzo Pietropaoli) are the only italian rhythm section completely at ease with any form of rhythmic stylisation. “We owe one of the most important musical inventions in the past few years to the Miles Davis of Decoy, which is the application of the be bop phrasing to rock rhythms. A jazz player used to think in terms of triplets, a funky player in sixteenth notes. Nowadays thinking in sextuplets brings together two expressive worlds, and is a step forward in musical sensitivity”. But why the interest for rock rhythms?
“Because of the poetry that the rock movement created, just like Louis Armstrong, the Swing Era, or Be Bop had their poetry. If a sudden cluster of guitar playing recalls Jimi Hendrix, it’s due to a cultural reference rather than musical trickery. I hate anything that doesn’t have roots”. Roots and poetry: this is possibly why Giammarco has also got another band, a modern jazz quartet, writes symphonic charts (recently for Enrico Rava), soundtracks for films and music for theatre.
Gianfranco Salvatore