Instrument: Saxophones, clarinets, composition, arrangement
Date of Birth: December 21, 1957
Birthplace: baritone, Italy
Roberto Ottaviano (composer, saxophonist, teacher) still present on musical panorama for about 20 years, has made his first record debut as leader in 1983 with Aspects for Tactus Records, introducing a group based on strong personalities like Giancarlo Schiaffini, Paolo Fresu and Carlo Actis Dato. This cooperation leads to a mature and advanced work of writing and improvisation for the musical Italian panorama during that period.
Thanks to his musical brillance and his detachment from fashions Ottaviano has been "considered one of the meaningful european voices (altough his unpredictable "outsider" soul).Ten CD's under his name and forty in collaboration with other formations and numerous festivals in Europe, United States, Latin America, Asia and Africa keep his presence on musicians and international criticism. Roberto Ottaviano born in baritone on december 21, 1957, starts very soon to be interested in the whole world music and he becomes a devouring fanatic of it. The feeling of producing that sounds is very strong that at age 14 he starts to study the drums and flute as self-taught, than studing the clarinet for five years with Antonio Di Maso at the Conservatory N.Piccinni in baritone.
As a result of listening Lester Young and John Coltrane he understands the will of becoming a saxophonist, so he starts as self taught, assimilating the importance of the sound, accent's and creativeness.
Thanks to the accidental meeting with Steve Lacy, his model and adviser, he will improve the study on soprano during 1980-1986 partly in Paris partly in Italy.
In Perugia, with the great classical virtuoso Federico Mondelci his technical preparation becames "pure" starting from the traditional French school so that in 1984 he achieves the Diploma, furthermore frequenting, during '70 and the first part of the 1980, some stages with Evan Parker and Jimmy Giuffre.
With regard to harmony and classical composition his teacher was Walter Boncompagni and he frequents some courses held by Giacomo Manzoni and Luigi Nono.
During some american visits Roberto Ottaviano studies with Ran Blake, Bill Russo, and George Russell, harmony arrangement and jazz composition, and with the last one take part of a Workshop week in Austria.
Despite his city in that years didn't offer big occasions to come in contact with black music, Ottaviano will perform his first Jazz experiences through a big local band that periodically will invite some illustrious musicians like Buck Clayton, Herny Wilkins, Benny Bailey, Sal Nistico give him the opportunity of entering in the world of the improvisation, a "gift" used later into another large orchestra, the Mitteleuropa Orchestra of Andrea Centazzo in which stand together with Gianluigi Trovesi, Radu Malfatti and Carlos Zingaro.
Although Ottavianos 'musical evolution is bound by the great Afro-american history, so that it contains lyric vein and italian style, nevertheless he has always tried, as composer and improvisator, to supply it with a different point of view and personal reading, having a dialectical relationship with this aesthetical and philosophical tradition being aware that one of his principal teachings present individual contribution. For this reason he has always tried to underline, without forcings, the connection with his European culture, the various possibilities of integration among writing and improvisation and the assimilation of all that elements derived by the experiences learned in other cultural contexts as theater, dance, cinema, poetry and figurative arts.
From 1979 he is in constant search of a precise musical appearance, so that he gives solo performances, never neglected, in very atypical places like museums, old industrial store house, jails, psychiatric centers, collaborating with some of the most important American, Europeans and extra-occidental musicians, various in style and conception but equally pushed by the same inventive aspiration.
Some of them: Dizzy Gillespie, Art Farmer, Mal Waldron, Albert Mangelsdorff, Chet Baker, Enrico Rava, Georg Grawe, Franz Koglmann, Barre Phillips, Keith Tippett, Giorgio Gaslini, Steve Swallow, Irene Schweizer, Kenny Wheeler, Ran Blake, Henry Texier, Paul Bley, Aldo Romano, Myra Melford, Tony Oxley, Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennink, Francis Bebey, Trilok Gurtu, Lamine Kontè¬ the Korean group "SaMulNoRi", the "Singing Drums" of Pierre Favre.
As freelance and as leader he has the opportunity of playing in various parts of the world appearing in some of the most meaningful festivals and series among which the Hamburg Jazz Festival, Freiburg Jazztages, Bombay and New Delhi Jazz Yatra, Arco Arts Festival de Madrid, FMP Berlin Total Music Meeting, Wien Opus 3, Belgian Jazz Festival, Red Sea Israel Festival, Chicago Jazz Festival, Oslo, Donaueschingen Musiktages, Mexico City Festival, Taktlos Athens Festival, Paris, Berliner Jazztages, Willisau Jazzfestival, etc.
Besides, in June 2000, he succedes in carry out an important musical exchange with some African musicians in Senegal and Cameroun, also being on at the Maison De Cultures "Douta Sek" of Dakar with the Orchestra Nationale's musicians.
Red, Splasc(h), Soul Note, Hat Art, Intakt, ECM, DIW, are the label in which he's present. He realizes different sound track's and musical surrounding, with Nam June Paik, Joseph Beuys, Biagio Caldarelli, Teri Weikel, Raimond Depardon.
His talent has been more times awarded through magazines' research. Jazz 360 degrees (Switzerland), Cadence (USA), Music and Disks and Music Jazz (Italy).
As "didatta" has held clinics and seminars to Woodstock N.Y., in the conservatories of Mexico City, Vienna and Groningen, and in free institutions to Urbino, Cagliari, Firenze, Siracusa, Roma.
Roberto Ottaviano is the author of the book The Sax: The Instrument, the History, The Protagonists publishing F. Muzzio. Padova and from 1989 he has Jazz music's chair at the Conservatory N. Piccinni in baritone.
This is the first completed and detailed discography of the italian musician. One of the most influential voice of the jazz scene, Ottaviano has realized until now 69 records (13 as a leader), meeting different oriented but highly creative musicians such as Andrea Centazzo, Franz Koglmann, Giorgio Gaslini, Albert Mangelsdorff, Ray Anderson, Nexus, Marcello Magliocchi, Pierre Favre, and recording real masterpieces like the playful Items from The Old Earth or the intense duet with Mal Waldron, Black Spirits are Here Again.
Records have been listed in chronological order based on recording sessions (included the unpublished ones). List contains:
- LPs and CDs by Roberto Ottaviano
- LPs and CDs featuring Roberto Ottaviano
Within every record informations have been organized in the following scheme:
- number of the session/title/leader
- location/recording dates
- year of pubblication/label/serial number/format/country
- at the bottom are indicated possible notes
Special thanks to: Jazz Institut-Darmstadt, Enzo Lanzo, Marcello Magliocchi, Roberto Magris, Roberto Manuzzi, Valerio Prigiotti, Maurizio Rolli, Marco Valente and obviously to Roberto Ottaviano