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Artist Profiles

Roberto Magris: Forging Ahead

By Published: November 8, 2004

With the many influences creeping not only into his music but into jazz at large, Magris has a context for the way jazz is evolving. "I think that in the seventies jazz-rock had no chances to develop because musicians were much different than now. At that time jazz musicians and rock musicians had a totally different background. Nowadays, thanks to the many jazz schools (I say this even if I'm a self taught jazz musician) the quality and professional capability of musicians is much higher and also they are totally open-minded about playing different styles of music and even combine them. The result is that a professional bassist, today can easily play jazz, rock, pop, fusion at the best (I've in mind John Patitucci, as a top for example). So, it's much easier to collaborate and to get different inspirations among musicians, today. And the music schools can be an excellent starting point. For the rest it's important to have a certain musical and personal culture (hard to express today) to influence choices. I think that we'll have more and more of a high standard of musicians and jazz musicians all around the world but, as ever, only a few of them will be able to find new ways of inspiration. Certainly the jazz tradition will remain the natural background, but there will be new possibilities of expression through digital musical. I also think that European musicians might have some interesting things to add."

Magris composes the music for all his bands. Does he have a problem keeping the constitution and the needs of each in focus when writing? "Honestly, I simply sit at the piano and try to develop some musical ideas that sometimes suddenly pop up in my mind. Of course I'm influenced by my daily life, by the kind of music I've listened to in the past and I'm listening to now. I just like to write the music on sheets of paper and try it at rehearsals. I do not program music nor do I use a computer. I try to imagine how the new ideas could sound and which combination of instruments, musicians and group could be the best. I cannot keep my writing separate from band to band. Sometimes it happens that I play a piece with my straight jazz group that I'd originally composed for my hip-hop project and vice versa."

His writing seems to have dovetailed towards the Europlane Orchestra from whom there will be three albums in the near future. In 2005 come Check In featuring Tony Lakatos on saxophone and Il Bello Del Jazz featuring Herb Geller on saxophone, while Current Views featuring Philip Catherine on guitar is slotted for 2006. Having listened to some of his earlier work, one can only wait with eager anticipation for the new music.

Visit Roberto Magris and the Europlane Orchestra on the web.

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Download jazz mp3 “Parker's Pen” by Roberto Magris Europlane featuring Herb Geller
  • Parker's Pen
  • Roberto Magris Europlane featuring Herb Geller
  • Il Bello Del Jazz