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Enrico Rava and Tomasz Stanko: Elective Affinities

AAJ Staff By

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ER: Not only you are a fantastic musician, but also an ideal tour-mate. You never complain, even when we have several days of challenging transportation. I am sure you know what I mean. Conversely, I don't think I am a good tour-mate, but I am sure you can appreciate that I am 78 years old now, whereas you are only 75 [laughs]. After you turn 76, every year you feel 10 years older. At times, before starting a complicated tour itinerary, with tons of train and airplane commutes, I wake up thinking "oh dear, I have to call in sick and tell everybody I cannot travel." Luckily, as soon as I hit the stage I feel like I am 20 years old again, but when the concert is over I start all over again "oh dear, tomorrow we have to go back on the road..."

TS: Our concert playlists includes a few improvised pieces, a couple of your tunes, a couple of mine and some compositions by our pianist, Giovanni Guidi.

ER: We didn't even need to rehearse very much. Just a couple of hours at the beginning of the tour.

TS: I love the fact that we play the same tunes every night, in the same sequence. I think that is is the best way to go, even when we have to play two consecutive sets.

ER: Miles Davis used to do the same thing. He kept playing the same tunes year after year. Even when he had the quintet featuring Wayne Shorter. He used to record Shorter's tunes for his albums, but during his concerts he continued playing "Stella by Starlight," "My Funny Valentine," "All Blues," for years. Only when you get to know a composition that well you can play it in complete freedom, because you can cruise through it without ever having to think...

TS: I agree. The same thing is happening now during Wayne Shorter's performances. It's almost impossible to recognize the compositions thet band is playing, but they know exactly what they're doing...

ER: Wayne Shorter continues to be the most modern and interesting player around. His quartet is my favorite band today...

TS: That's the same for me.

ER: Each mamber of that band is a master in his own right, but it's the music they can play together that never fails to amaze me.

Photo credit: Marie Ferre

All About Jazz wishes to express its gratitude to Marie Ferre and Guido Gaito for having made this interview possible.

Transcription by Enrico Bettinello, Mario Calvitti, Ludovico Granvassu, Angelo Leonardi and Giuseppe Segala.

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