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Marco Eneidi: Pallettes of Color & Sound

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This is my improvisation, putting together groups of likeminded players, not likeminded players and combinations of instruments.
Marco Eneidi seems to become a forgotten artist. Which is odd, at the very least, because his improvisation workshops are attended by the first seat of the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, and because, in just the past few years, the saxophonist has played with artists including pianist Cecil Taylor, guitarist Joe Morris, reed multi-instrumentalists Roscoe Mitchell, Peter Brötzmann and Ken Vandermark, cornetist Butch Morris, and drummers/percussionists Andrew Cyrille, Michael Zerang, Paul Lovens, and Han Bennink.

Yet, despite his rare musical skills, his vast musical knowledge, his enviable verve and his multiple recordings and performances, this musician sometimes barely makes ends meet. He never made a career out of music because it wasn't his priority, and perhaps he didn't have good luck. Now, at age 57, he claims that it's only his music that he cares about. He'll be playing in June, 2013, at the Aural Merco Festival in Mexico City with his group, The Cosmic Brujo Mutafuka Trio, and during the spring and summer he'll be involved with special events at Neu New York/Vienna Institute of Improvised Music in Austria.

All About Jazz: Your visit to Poland, this past March, was your first time, right? How did your collaboration with Polish musicians start?

Marco Eneidi: Yes, it was my very first visit to Poland, although in the late eighties, in New York City, I spent a lot of time in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, working and living with only Polish men and women doing asbestos removal.

This all [my visit to Poland] came about because drummer Michal Trela contacted me and asked if I would be interested in coming for some performances in Poland. The two concerts we did, and the recording sessions, were really great. These guys are fantastic musicians. We had never met or played before; I really didn't know what to expect or what kind of musical background they were coming from and we hit it off right from the beginning. We all were speaking the same language and the communication through sound was unbelievable, how well we got on together.

Hopefully we will be doing concerts again in the near future. My Mexican trio, Cosmic Brujo Mutafuka Trio will be coming to Europe in mid-July, and I want to propose to [tenor saxophonist] Marek Pospieszalski, Michal and [double bassist] Ksawery Wojcinski about doing some concerts as a double trio, performing some of my compositions. Two basses, two drummers, two saxophones.

AAJ: Living in Vienna, how did you get to know musicians from ... Mexico?

ME: The Cosmic Brujo Mutafuka trio came about a few years ago when I was invited to perform at a weeklong festival in Mexico City. This group was put together for me and we also hit it off right from the start. I was also in Mexico City this past October [2012], when we did several concerts and will be back again in mid-May, performing at the Aural Festival, opening the evening's concert, followed by the Sun Ra Arkestra.

The drummer, Gabriel Lauber, is half Swiss and Mexican. He spent the first twenty years of his life in Switzerland, studied drums with the great Swiss drummer Pierre Favre, and has been living in Mexico for the past twenty years. Bassist Itzam Cano is a full Mexican of Aztec descent. He currently teaches at the conservatory. Both of these guys will fit together incredibly well with Michal and Ksawery.

AAJ: It's eight years now since you moved to Austria. What was the reason for leaving the US and what do you do in Vienna?

ME: I had wanted to come to Europe for a long time, but never really knew where or what was possible. My living situation in Oakland, California, at the time, was deteriorating, and I had to make a change. A few things all of a sudden became available, so I decided to come to Vienna, and just see what happened. I came prepared to be able to stay for one year and things worked out. It has now be just over eight years that I have been here. The biggest change for me has been that I am able to just barely support myself playing music. I am not allowed to work in Austria, so I have to make the music work. The rent here is cheap enough that I can just barely survive, although 2012 was a very difficult year, and I really didn't have money for food other than potatoes much of the time. Probably the best thing for me here in Austria is that for the first time in my adult life I have health insurance. It actually saved my life as six years ago, just after turning 50, I became very ill and had to go through a two-year treatment which wouldn't have been possible if had I still been in America, without insurance.

AAJ: What you're saying is a bit sad...

ME: I am at an age where I do not bother anymore. Now I have time to just play music.

AAJ: How does your regular week look like?

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