Giacomo Papetti – double bass | Emanuele Maniscalco – piano | Gabriele Rubino – piccolo, soprano and bass clarinets
Recorded at Salone Pietro Da Cemmo in Brescia by Davide Mahony on July 18th 2012 under the patronage of the Conservatorio di musica “Luca Marenzio” of Brescia. Mixed and mastered by: Marco Franzoni at Bluefemme StereoRec. Graphics by: Geheimtinte. Produced in March 2013 by: Giacomo Papetti and Aut Records
Tracklist: 1. Far (Papetti) – 00:44 2. Thieves in Ainola – 04:47 3. After That (Papetti-Maniscalco-Rubino) – 04:14 4. Hu Rock – 07:30 5. Glimpse (Maniscalco) – 00:41 6. Bela Bartok in Memoriam (Ligeti) – 05:42 7. North (Papettij – 02:58 8. Fine del Tempo – 03:56 9. Nascondere (Papetti) – 04:03 10. Afterwards (Maniscalco) – 01:06 11. Escape from Ainola – 04:29 12. Far (reprise) (Papetti) – 00:55 13. Finale (Gershwin) – 02:38 Total time – 44:28
Track 06. by Gyorgy Ligeti (from Musica Ricercata – IX, an. by Giacomo Papetti). Track 13. by George Gershwin (Oh Lawd, I’m on my way from Porgy and Bess, arr. by Small Choices). Tracks 02. and 11. improvisations inspired by Jean Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony (III). Track 04. improvisation inspired by Gyorgy Ligeti’s Hungarian Rock. Track 08. improvisation inspired by Olivier Messiaen’s Ouatuor pour la Fin du Temps (VI)
focuses its research on contemporary improvised music, in constant relationship with the practice of composition – including original tunes as well as some personal re- interpretation of influent works from the 20th Century (Ligeti, Messiaen, Sibelius and Gershwin) – reaching a delicate balance between extemporariness and organization.
In this scenario “small choices” become necessary in every moment.
Strongly influenced by a certain “eccentricity” in contemporary art music and by the expressive power of jazz and free improvisation, this small ensemble expresses itself through an unpredictable and intimate interplay, searching for its own integrity and following its natural urges, easily crossing borders between musical genres.
Why not improvise on so-called classical music themes
is a question increasingly answered in the positive by adventurous players of every genre. Thus the Italian trio involved in Small Choices dedicates more than half this CD to such prestidigitation.
These are serious improvisations, not a jazzy overlay of notated music however. Which means that when bassist Giacomo Papetti, pianist Emanuele Maniscalco and Gabriele Rubino on piccolo, soprano and bass clarinets deal with themes by Sibelius or Ligeti they bring the same freedom to experiment with them as they would with tunes by Ellington or Monk.
Fine del Tempo, for instance, inspired by Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps, adds a rhythmic undertow, and before recapping the head, stretches the theme with unbroken trills from Rubino, Papetti’s slap bass plus Maniscalco’s repeated note clusters. On the other hand, Escape from Ainola, taken from Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony, maintains panoramic echoes with resonating chords from the keyboard and a buzzing bass line. Here Rubino creates the bonding ostinato as the others interject sub-motifs or decorate the brooding theme.
Solid definitions and identifications are proven unfeasible on some of the other tracks however. With sweeping piano glissandi, double bass thumps and a melody propelled by delicate soprano clarinet sweeps, Nascondere appear to be another contrafact of classical notated music. Instead it’s a completely original composition by Papetti.
Two of the three players here earned advanced conservatory degrees in both notated and improvised music. Although Maniscalco, in contrast, is an autodidact – like Schoenberg and Elgar – this sort of jazz, classical crossover will likely become much more common in future. Small Choices shows the way. — Ken Waxman
Electric/upright bassist and composer, Giacomo Papetti (1984) obtained a Jazz Master’s Degree (summa cum laude) in 2012 with a thesis titled “Beyond the standard” at the Conservatory of Brescia (Italy), that subsequently awarded him the Luca Marenzio Prize as best student of the year. Before that, he studied electric bass with the Italian sideman Charlie Cinelli (1996-2001), and classical double bass with Stefano Pratissoli (2001-2004).
He attended various improvisation and jazz masterclasses and workshops with many international musicians: Markus Stockhausen (2011), Drew Gress, Ben Allison, Scott Colley, Jack Walrath, Furio Di Castri, Riccardo Zegna, Paolino Dalla Porta, Giovanni Maier, Piero Leveratto, Stefano Zenni and others (Siena Jazz 2006 and 2009), Jim Black, Ben Monder, Theo Bleckmann, Piero Leveratto, Franco Testa. Currently he’s also active as teacher in several local music schools (bass, improvisation and jazz ensemble practice).
He played in gigs and on records with some amazing jazz and experimental rock Italian musicians (Emanuele Maniscalco, Fabrizio Saiu, Francesco Saiu, Simone Guiducci, Christian Thoma, Corrado Guarino, Gianluigi Trovesi, Francesco Cusa, Francesco Bigoni, Piero Bittolo Bon, Nelide Bandello, etc.).
In addition to Small Choices he’s also co-leading other ensembles: Birdcage (with Emanuele Maniscalco), Innerplay (improvisation and contemporary music didactics and performances with Fabrizio Saiu, Maurizio Rinaldi), Trio Lontano (with Francesco Saiu and Christian Thoma).
Emanuele Maniscalco (1983) grew up in a family of music amateurs, taking up piano at eight and drums at twelve. At fourteen he started to gain his first recognition after playing some jazz by ear at a friends’ house. He decided then to start studying seriously, devoting much of his time to the jazz tradition, on both instruments.
He is almost completely self-taught. At around eighteen many musicians from his area started calling him for gigs, and soon he was playing as a sideman with some best-known Italian jazz artists, like Stefano Battaglia, Enrico Rava, Emanuele Cisi, Francesco Bearzatti, Gianluca Petrella, Stefano Bollani among others. He recorded around 15 albums as sideman.
In 2006 he started his first band as a leader, called Slow Band, with whom he released his first album in 2010 for the label Re:think-Art Records. Another project of his is a quartet called From Time To Time, which released an album in late 2011. He’s co-leader of a trio called Third Reel, with Roberto Pianca on guitar and Nicolas Masson on reeds (their first album is released on ECM records).
Gabriele Rubino (1985) got a Diploma in Classical Clarinet in 2008 and a Diploma in Jazz Music in 2012 from the Conservatory of Brescia, where he studied with pianist and composer Corrado Guarino. He also studied jazz saxophone with Guido Bombardieri and Giulio Visibelli. He attended summer workshops at Siena Jazz (2008) with Achille Succi, Bruno Tommaso, Stefano Zenni and at Nuoro Jazz (2009) with Tino Tracanna, Tommaso Lama, Luca Bragalini. Currently he attends the Permanent Workshop of Musical Research taught by Stefano Battaglia.
He played as soloist some premieres by the contemporary composer Daniele Ghisi in Bergamo (2007) and at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2009). He played with Marco Rottoli Quartet, with Corrado Guarino (in a duo, in a trio with Salvatore Maiore and in an ensemble with Gianluigi Trovesi), with Screwdrive Inn Ensemble (Time in Jazz – Berchidda, 2011) and with the RES Collective of Improvised music.
He plays clarinets and saxophones in various projects with actors, big bands, wind orchestras, jazz, pop and folk musicians in North of Italy.
He teaches clarinet, saxophone and conducts winds ensembles in some local music schools. He’s psychologist and music-therapist according to the Orchestral Music Therapy Esagramma Method: he conducts musical-therapeutic ensembles, from the chamber group to the orchestra, involving people with psychophysical disability and for these groups he also writes arrangements of symphonic classical repertoire. With Esagramma Symphonic Orchestra he co-hold several workshops in Europe (Dortmund, Linz, Pecs, Claye-Souilly) and Washington D.C. (Georgetown University).
CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)