We're well deep into spring and a new chapter has started. After three great shows with Astral Travel in Italy, I'm now in New York to run some bureaucratic errands and play some shows. It's been a week since I've been here and I was able to reconnect with lots of friends and musical partners I haven't seen in quite a long time. So great to see how everybody is doing so well!
Starting this weekend, Friday April 25, I'll be playing at improv session Paradigm Refrain with Nico Soffiato on guitar and Giacomo Merega on electric bass at Goodbye Blue Monday in Brooklyn. On Sunday April 27 I'll be part of Michael Blake's Band featuring Teddy Kumpel and Tim Luntzel at Bizarre Bar in Bushwick playing some rare and obscure oldies. On May 10 I will be joining Rosita Késs and Doug Wieselman at Nublu to perform Rosita's originals while on the 17th I'll be performing duo with the legendary Don Byron paying tribute to John Coltrane at Michiko's Studios on 46 St. (bet. Times Sq. & 6th Ave.). More shows to be confirmed in the next few days.
Some exciting news regarding Astral Travel are our new partnership with Berlin-based booking agent Daniel Best of Best Works (Jazzanova, Da Lata, Mop Mop) and the release of "Cosm'ethic" on Japanese label P-VINE Records on June 4 2014, while Shuya Okino from Kyoto Jazz Massive selected us as Best New Artist of 2013 for the JAJ InterFM Awards. A series of interviews and reviews have come out on Musica Jazz, Soundwall Magazine, Witclub and radio podcasters worldwide have been playing the album on a regular basis.
A new video has been released for the GIBUS 2014 campaign featuring myself on drums, Ty Le Blanc (voice), Andrea Lombardini (bass) and Alfonso Santimone (keys). It's an ad shot to market their brand new line of high-end gazebos "Sun Room". For the occasion Ty and I co-wrote the song "Let The Sunshine In".
A new promotional video has been released by the Jazz Re:freshed crew, an interview where we talk about my favorite records in my vynil collection.
A new Mixtape of mine has been broadcasted on Polish Radio Kampus through the series "Digital Meditation". Here's what they had to say about it: "Making long story short, the inspiration information continues! Musician responsible for one of the best jazz albums of 2013, encouraged by Maceo’s sonic meditation phenomenon (#91) hit us with special transcendental jazz-mix prepared exclusively for our show! We still can’t hide our excitation and can’t wait to launch this beautiful trip for you. Don’t think twice and tune in to listen meditation of one of our favorite drummers around – Tommaso Cappellato!"
Enjoy the spring and hope to bring some more exciting news in the weeks to come.
"Music brings you places" (Anonymous)
Recently returned from a trip in India, where I regained my energies after a fierce 2013, I'm back in the grind moving around and making moves. The musical season started with a nice series of gigs with my friends Rosita Késs and Richard Julian, two wonderful songwriters and musicians who I have been playing with for a few years. The release of the album we recorded together in 2012 in New Orleans is way overdue but it should definitely happen this year.
The album "Cosm'ethic" keeps receiving props from every possible source: magazines, blogs, radio programs and podcasts from all over the world. "World Traveller" was featured on 2013's last episode of "Bandcamp Weekly" (the world's largest independent online music store) as one of the highlights of last year, while Shuya Okino of Kyoto Jazz Massive in Japan listed us among the five Best New Artists of the year. On January 24 Astral Travel opened the new season of concerts at the prestigious Casa del Jazz in Rome and other gigs are to follow in early spring around northern Italy. For en extensive read of recent reviews you can visit the Album Page.
I'm currently in Berlin playing CTM Festival on January 29 with Upperground Orchestra led by DJ and producer Rabih Beaini and featuring Piero Bittolo Bon on reeds and Alvise Seggi on bass. Joining the concert will be legendary and visionary musician and composer Charles Cohen, worldwide renown for having mastered the Buchla Music Easel synthesizer, an extremely rare integrated analog performance instrument made by pioneer Don Buchla. On January 31 I will join piano player and composer Kelvin Sholar, originally from Detroit and a Berlin resident, for a piano trio performance at Kaffeehaus Mila.
Back in Italy I will play a double date with a massive quartet featuring Carlo Atti on tenor saxophone, Fabrizio Puglisi on piano and Stefano Senni on bass. This will take place at Barazzo in Bologna February 8-9, while on February 20 I will join young talents Alessandro Lanzoni and Gabriele Evangelista for piano trio performance in Siena, Tuscany. Those who are familiar with these players know what they're in for!
Other big news are around the corner but it's quite too early for them to be revealed so stay tuned. You can subscribe to the NEWSLETTER and like my FACEBOOK PAGE to keep informed. Thank you all for your support!
For the second time this wonderful band I'm part of releases an album of high and intense energy. Following "Live at Panic" (Abeat 2011) saxophonist, composer and band leader Michele Polga decides to take the group to the studio to record a new set of tunes. The outcome is "Studio Session" (Abeat 2013) featuring Fabrizio Bosso (trumpet), Luca Mannutza (piano), Luca Bulgarelli (bass) and myself on drums.
The official presentation will be held at Q Club in Padova on November 28 2013.
Tickets will still be available at the door.
The man himself, Enrico Rava wrote some great liner notes, commenting the music on the album:
The opening is quite astounding. A fast, lively theme is carried over a very solid and effective bass line, which would definitely contradict the sense of the title “Boh” (a typical Italian exclamation denoting perplexity, surprise or some degree of incertitude) and paves the way for Polga’s powerful, engaging solo. We are instantly hooked.
So is jazz alive and is it doing well? Very definitely, and with musicians such as Polga and his fellow players one can easily capture an idea of the current fortunate lot and good health of the genre. This jazz release offers a blend of different feelings and musical elements and there are no moments of waning vitality or hesitation. We also note echoes of the work of Horace Silver, Joe Henderson and all of the great musicians of the past who made us fall in love with this type of music. But then, as we listen more carefully, we are of course fully aware that this is Michele Polga; his music is really only reminiscent of his own work.
Fabrizio Bosso is simply incredible (as always), and we enjoy the unpredictable and strikingly creative sparks he manages to generate and admire the outstanding control of his instrument. Mannuzza, Bulgarelli and Cappellato are absolutely essential; they are imaginative, alert and reactive. It is evident that it is a pleasurable experience for all of them all but it is for us too. They listen and respond to each other, offering an essential contribution towards the unity of the band.
Apart from ‘On Green Dolphin Street’ and the final blues track, these pieces were all composed by Polga, who once again proves himself a moving saxophonist but also as an extraordinary composer and sound designer.
What else can we say? This is a great, truly authentic jazz album. This is the way they used to be produced and they’re increasingly rare. In this sense too I appreciate the fact it closes with a slow blues piece. It is basically one of those albums that you just want to play again and again.
October has been a month of great new encounters and high energy. The Free Spirits/Steve Reid Foundation 12-hours musical marathon in Berlin was one of the most memorable events I have been involved in. I got to meet and spend time with some legendary talents of the likes of Gilles Peterson, Fourtet, Floating Points, Fuasi Abdul Khaliq and Dwight Trible. Not only that but we were honored with the presence in the audience of some old time friends and great artists such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Andrea Benini (Mop Mop), Rabih Beaini (who opened for Astral Travel with a deep spiritual DJ set) and Daniel Best.
(Unity right after a deep cosmic jam between Astral Travel & Horace Tapscott Memorial Ensemple at Free Spirits, Berlin)
On October 19 Astral Travel was invited by Circolo Culturale Controtempo to perform at the series "Le Nuove Rotte del Jazz" (New Routes in Jazz) along with Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset and piano legend Bobo Stenson at Teatro Miela in Trieste. And if this was not enough, last friday I took part to Mark de Clive-Lowe's Church project at Uberjazz Festival in Hamburg featuring violist and arranger Miguel Atwood Ferguson, vocalist Tawiah, saxophonist/flutist/composer Finn Peters and bass player Manuel Hugas. Some of us met for the very first time and as it happens sometimes, it resulted in some magic musical moments.
Next and last appointment in the fall with Astral Travel will be in my hometown Padova at Fishmarket celebrating the release of "Cosm'ethic" on Jazz Re:Freshed Records along with those who made it happen: TwICE (Black Aroma), Volcov (Neroli/Archive) & Mark de Clive-Lowe. I'm really looking forward to this one, CD's will be available at 10 Euros. Spread the word!!!
Together with Gilles Peterson & the Brownswood Label, Berlin based promoter J.A.W Family set up a special event around the extraordinary music universe of NY Drummer Steve Reid (RIP) with the aim at raising money for the Steve Reid Foundation & helping Festsaal Kreuzberg with its reconstruction.
This event brings for the first time in Berlin worldwide renowned DJs, Producers & live musicians together for a day & night of independent, improvised & spiritual music. All proceeds will go to the Steve Reid Foundation to support Steve’s close friend & musician Arthur Blythe who’s currently struggling with Parkinson’s disease.
Sunday October 13// 3pm - 4am // Festsaal Edition c/o Prince Charles
Gilles Peterson (Brownswood Recordings BBC 6 UK)
Floating Points (Eglo Records UK)
Four Tet (Text Records UK)
Claas Brieler (Jazzanova DE)
Horace Tapscott Memorial Ensemble (US DE) LIVE
Fuasi Abdul-Khaliq (tenor sax)
Ghasim Batamuntu (soprano sax)
Bobby West (keys/ Fender Rhodes)
Kenny Martin (drums)
Daryl Taylor (bass)
+ very special guest Dwight Trible (vocals)
Astral Travel (Jazz Re:freshed IT) LIVE
Tommaso Cappellato (drums)
Alessia Obino (voice)
Anna Maria Dalla Valle (flute)
Paolo Corsini (piano/fender rhodes/ moog synthesizer)
Andrea Lombardini (electric bass)
Pre-sale tickets only available on Resident Advisor
Astral Travel was welcomed and well received at Mau Mau Bar in London with great energy and enthusiasm by the Jazz Re:Freshed crew and a wonderful audience. It was great to finally meet in person the masterminds behind this generous collective, Adam Moses, Justin McKenzie and Bunny Bread and we were honored with the presence of some vip's such as Dego and Robert Strauss.
Physical copies of the album with refined graphic design and packaging are finally available at http//:jazzrefreshed.bandcamp.com/album/cosmethic
Here's an extract of the gig while performing "My Body Needs To Breathe, I Doesn't" with Alessia Obino (voice), Anna Maria Dalla Valle (flute), Paolo Corsini (keys) and Marco Privato (bass).
After 6 months of intense work the album "COSM'ETHIC" with my new project ASTRAL TRAVEL is out on the great UK label JAZZ RE:FRESHED. The band includes Alessia Obino (voice), Anna Maria Dalla Valle (flute), Paolo Corsini (rhodes/synths), Marco Privato (bass) and special guests MC's Chauncey Yearwood and Yah Supreme.
The album includes original compositions and improvisations by members of ASTRAL TRAVEL and it indends to be a tribute to Spiritual Jazz and a dedication to one of my mentors Harry Whitaker, mostly known for his composition "We Live in Brooklyn, Baby!" with Roy Ayers & Ubiquity and for his master album "Black Renaissance".
Each song tries to express the various stages of Astral Traveling, a technique to master lucid dreaming and out of body experiences leading to higher spiritual realizations.
I want to give special thanks to the following people for the support and inspiration in the making of this album:
Alessia Obino, Anna Maria Dalla Valle, Paolo Corsini, Marco Privato, Adam "Rock" Moses, Justin "Top Rock" McKenzie, Bunny Bread, Enrico Crivellaro aka "Volcov", Max Trisotto, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Emi Onishi, Rabih Beaini aka "Morphosis", Mauro Santinello, Chauncey Yearwood, Yah Supreme, Andy Barlow, Dego, Kaidi Tatham, Akwasi Mensah, Theo Parrish, Patrick Gibin, Alessandro Zamperini.
On AUGUST 15 2013 ASTRAL TRAVEL will perform the CD releasy party at Mau Mau Bar located at 265 Portobello Rd. West London - UK. Can't wait!!