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Francesco Martinelli

Italian writer, educator and general provocateur...

About Me

I was born in Pisa, Italy, in 1954 and began organizing event in 1975 (Frank Lowe - Don Cherry Quartet). From 1976 to 1982 co-organized the Pisa International Jazz Festival where Evan Parker's Improvisors Symposium was recorded and Anthony Braxton's Composition for two pianos was premiered. Translated then Derek Bailey's book about improvisation and Leo Smith's Notes About Music. Organized concerts and festival during the 80s and 90s (Steve Lacy, Sonny Rollins, AMM, Company, La Nuova Onda New Italian Jazz Festival) from 1997 to 2006 the Italian Instabile Orchestra Festival in Pisa. Director of the Archive at Siena Jazz. Wrote also on: Musica Jazz, Avant, Improjazz, The Wire, Signal To Noise, Point of Departure as well as liner notes for Splasc(h), Leo, FMP, Cuneiform, Emanem, Chronoscope among others. Discographies published: Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton, Mario Schiano, Joelle Leandre. Translator of the Italian edition of "The Making of Kind of Blue"; started a series of translations for Siena Jazz/EDT that so far includes John Szwed's Jazz 101, Carl Woideck's Charlie Parker, Andy Hamilton's conversations with Lee Konitz, Michael Dregni's Django, Coltrane on Coltrane curated by Chris De Vito and Ted Gioia's History of jazz. Pisan publisher ETS published my revised translation of the second edition of Improvisation by Derek Bailey in 2010, 30 years after the first translation. In 2013 ETS published the Italian translation of P.N. WIlson book about Albert Ayler, "Lo spirito e la rivolta. Teaching and speaking experience: guest lecturer for New York University, Wesleyan University and William Paterson College; faculty member of Istanbul's Bilgi University 2004/2008, guest lecturer at Istanbul Conservatory at ITU, keynore speeches for congresses and European Jazz Network meetings. Currently teaching History of Jazz at the Siena Jazz Foundation music courses, at Siena Jazz University as well as at the Mascagni Musical Institute in Livorno. Music interests: contemporary avant garde, ethnic music of the Mediterranean and Near East, Jewish music, Oriental music. Music disinterests: anything with a backbeat.

My Jazz Story

I love jazz because it means freedom I was first exposed to jazz when Louis Armstrong sang at Sanremo Festival I met Sun Ra The best show I ever attended was Mongo Santamaria The first jazz record I bought was Lil Hardin Armstrong on Decca My advice to new listeners: keep open ears

My Favorites

  1. Louis Armstrong - The Hot 5 & 7 (JSP remastering)
  2. Albert Ayler - Spiritual Unity
  3. Paul Bley - Turning Point
  4. Anthony Braxton - Willisau (Quartet) 1991
  5. Brotherhood of Breath - Live in Willisau
  6. Don Cherry - Complete Blue Note (Mosaic)
  7. John Coltrane - The complete 1961 Live at Village Vanguard recordings
  8. Miles Davis with Gil Evans - Complete
  9. Dedication Orchestra - Spirits Rejoice
  10. Duke Ellington - The Far East Suite
  11. Duke Ellington - The Blanton-Webster Band
  12. Sylvia Hallett - White Fog
  13. Billie Holiday - The Complete Commodore
  14. Thelonious Monk - Solo Monk
  15. Evan Parker - Conic Sections
  16. Esther Phillips - From a whisper to a scream
  17. Sun Ra - Jazz in silhouette
  18. Cecil Taylor - Nuits de la Fondation Maeght
  19. Okay Temiz - Dervish
  20. Dinah Washington - Swings