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Interviews

Enrico Rava: Consummate Fan, Consummate Artist

By Published: December 12, 2005
"In the 40s, you had people like Charlie Parker, Dizzy, Miles, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Max Roach. But at the same time, you still had Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins. I could go on for hours. It's like the encyclopedia of jazz from A to Z. Each of those names is somebody that is so enormous.

"Even people that nobody even remembers. Tony Fruscella (trumpeter). I was just listening to a record by Harold Land, with a trumpeter called Dupree Bolton. He just made two records and then disappeared. Amazing.

"I just bought the other day a box (CD set) of Lennie Tristano. Nobody even talks about him. It's incredible how far ahead he was in the '40s. It was the most amazing scene. Wherever you look, you find somebody that is not just a great musician, but a real genius ... It's impossible to match that. Now we just need some time to listen to it and digest the enormous amount of music.

"Today the scene is very good. There are some excellent and great musicians and everything. But if you compare with what happened in those magic years, you're going to be sad. There's nobody that can take the place of Duke Ellington. Nobody can take the place of Lester Young. Nobody can take the place of Stan Getz or Coltrane or Rollins, Tristano, Monk or Dizzy or Chet. You name it. Today, who can reach Miles? They need a stepladder. Maybe I'm wrong, but nobody comes to my mind.

Rava cautions, "I don't mean to say, 'Ok. Forget it. They already did it so let's go to sleep.' No. I don't say that. Probably in the scene today there is the embryo of some genius of tomorrow.

The trumpeter says he sees the winds of future change coming about in Europe because of the sociological factors there.

"In Europe, we weren't used to having so much immigration. In the States, when jazz burned, there was continuous immigration from all over Europe every day. The Africans were brought there a couple of centuries before. It was the right situation for a new music to be born. Here in Italy, we have every day thousands of people that arrive from north Africa, from Central Africa, from the far east, from the European eastern countries. It brings problems, but also it brings different cultures, different music, different dance, different language. Here in Italy, probably there will be something that will come out of an encounter of jazz, Italian music, opera, folk music from the people coming to Italy. We're going to have world music, which is kind of a plastic invention. This will be a real thing.

"I think Europe is the place, maybe in 20 or 30 years, we'll see a new kind of music that will be the result of all that. In the beginning of last century, it happened in the States. Maybe I'm completely wrong, but that is the way I feel.

Meanwhile, Rava remains busy, lives a good life—for which he is ever grateful—digs the sounds and digs his number-one job: Fan.

"When I have to speak about jazz, I can go on forever.

Visit Enrico Rava on the web.

Selected Discography

Enrico Rava, Tati< /i> (ECM, 2005)

Salvatore Bonafede, < i>Journey to Donafugata
(CamJazz, 2005)

Enrico Rava, Easy Living (ECM, 2004)

Enrico Rava, Montreal Diary: Plays Miles Davis (Label Bleu, 2004)

Enrico Rava, Happiness Is (Stunt, 2004)

Enrico Rava, Full of Life (CamJazz, 2003)

Italian Instabile Orchestra, Previsioni del Tempo: Forecast (Imprint, 2002)

Tommaso-Rava Quartet, La Dolce Vita (CamJazz, 2001)

Italian Instabile Orchestra, Litania Sibilante (Enja, 2000)< BR> Enrico Rava, Duo en Noir (Between the Lines, 2000)

Enrico Rava, Live at Birdland Neuberg (Challenge, 2000)

Enrico Rava, Shades of Chet (Via Veneto Jazz, 1999)

Enrico Rava, Certi Angoli Segreti (Label Bleu, 1998)

Lee Konitz/Enrico Rava, L'Age Mur (Philology, 1998)

Enrico Rava, Carmen (Label Bleu, 1997)

Steve Lacy, Scratching the Seventies/Dreams (Saravah, 1997)< BR> Enrico Rava, Electric Five (Soul Note, 1994)

Italian Instabile Orchestra, Skies of Europe (ECM, 1994)

Enrico Rava/Enrico Pieranunzi, Nausicaa (EGEA, 1993)

Marc Ducret, Gris (Label Bleu, 1990

Cecil Taylor, Alms/Tiergarten [Spree] (FMP, 1989)

Enrico Rava/Dino Saluzzi Quintet, Volver (ECM, 1986)

Enrico Rava, Nexus Meets Enrico Rava (Four Leaf Clover, 1985)< BR> Archie Shepp, Little Red Moon (Soul Note, 1985)

Barry Altschul, Irina (Soul Note, 1983)

Enrico Rava, Opening Night (ECM, 1981)

Enrico Rava, Enrico Rava Quartet (ECM, 1978)

Globe Unity Orchestra, Jahrmarkt/Local Fair (Po Torch, 1977)< BR> Enrico Rava, The Plot (ECM, 1976)

Roswell Rudd, Inside Job (Freedom, 1976)

Enrico Rava, The Pilgrim and the Stars (ECM, 1975)

Enrico Rava, Quotation Marks (Japo, 1973)

Dollar Brand, African Space Program (Enja, 1973)

Gunter Hampel & His Galaxie Dream Band, Angel (Birth, 1972)< BR> Manfred Schoof, European Echoes (Unheard Music Series/ Atavistic, 1969)

Steve Lacy, The Forest and the Zoo (ESP, 1966)

Related Article

Artist Profile: Trumpeter Enrico Rava (2004)

Photo Credits

Top photo: Jos L. Knaepen

All others: Claudio Casanova


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