Franco Cerri (1926-2021)

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Franco Cerri, one of the world's finest jazz guitarists whose records and reputation have escaped most American jazz aficionados due to his desire to spend his career in Italy, died on October 18. He was 95.

Ruggedly handsome with a joyous sense of swing and impeccable taste, Cerri (pronounced “Cherry") made nearly all of his recordings in Milan, starting in 1945. Touring American jazz stars knew him well and that he could play bass as proficiently as the guitar. Over his career, Cerri gigged with Chet Baker, Buddy Collette, Dizzy Gillespie, Johnny Griffin, Stéphane Grappelli, Lars Gullin, Billie Holiday, Lee Konitz, Gerry Mulligan, Lou Bennett, Bud Shank, Tony Scott, Django Reinhardt, Phil Woods and the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Prepare yourself, because once you hear my favorite tracks and albums, you're going to want to own everything Cerri ever recorded...

Here's Cerri live in 1967 on Italian television. Move the space bar to 3:29...



Here's Cerri's eighth album from 1964...



Here's Cerri playing Brazil. How impossibly gorgeous...



Here's Omaggio a Bill Evans from 1981...



Here's In Punta di Cerri from 2017...



And here's the full album of Cerrimedioatutto from 2011...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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