The Passion of Lorenzo Tucci

Robin Arends By

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AAJ: How did you meet him?

LT: Rosario and I met in the world of music in 1995, but we knew each other before. There was a small club in Rome, which now no longer exists, called Stardust where we played a lot, did some wonderful jam sessions as well as many encounters amongst musicians. Here, Rosario and I decided to create a quartet band which later turned out to be famous and lucky. Besides myself were Pietro Lussu at the piano and Joseph Lepore on bass and then later came Pietro Ciancaglini. With that quartet band, we played a lot in Italy and throughout Europe where I have wonderful memories that I will never forget.

AAJ: Another longtime companion of yours is trumpeter Fabrizio Bosso. How would you describe your musical collaboration with Bosso?

LT: Fabrizio is a very dear friend as well as an incredible musician. With him I've done some very important things playing all over the world, and together we have achieved dozens of albums and also formed the successful band High Five Quintet, whereby I arranged and produced the first record with the singer Mario Biondi A Handful of Soul(Schema, 2006) with 400,000 copies sold.

AAJ: 400,000 copies, that's a lot for a jazz record.

LT: With HFQ what happened is what rarely happens when putting together five musicians and therefore a perfect understanding, affinity and empathy. We have created a unique sound style post Hard-Bop. Within the group were incredibly talented musicians such as Bosso, Daniele Scannapieco, Julian Oliver Mazzariello, Pietro Ciancaglini, and later joined Luca Mannutza and Tommaso Scannapieco, equally talented musicians. We have done important tours and records relevant to the Via Veneto jazz and then for the legendary Blue Note. We also have a beautiful live album recorded at the Blue Note in Tokyo.

AAJ: You was also co-founder of the LTC Trio, together with pianist Pietro Lussu and Ciancaglini. As far as I know you recorded 2 records, what happened to the trio?

LT: Nothing serious has happened to the trio. With Lussu and Ciancaglini we were the rhythm of many groups with a great interplay, also because we had in common a strong background, so we decided to make records in a trio seeing that this obtained excellent results. Then, as often happens, between the various commitments many projects are weakened. I do expect another return.

AAJ: Ciancaglini is also a member of your own trio. On your album Drumonk (Veneto Jazz, 2007) you, Bosso and Ciancaglini reproduce Monks' complex sound without using a piano. How did you do that?

LT: Monk has always stimulated my imagination with his compositions, both from the point of view of harmony and above all rhythm. The compositions that I chose for Drumonk were chosen respecting the characteristics of the trio, namely the characteristics of the musicians making them better express themselves in the best way possible, which critics appreciated very much and this was very rewarding for me.

AAJ: Three years later you recorded Tranety (Albore Jazz, 2010), a tribute to John Coltrane. It is a piano-trio album. Why didn't you include a saxophonist in this band?

LT: John Coltrane was an extraordinary saxophonist and a person with incredible and deep humanity. His compositions reflect his character and have always attracted me, the sweetness in his pathos are elements that I do regardless of the instrument that he played, and it is for this reason that I didn't use the saxophone in Tranety. Beautiful music is independent from the instrument one plays. With the piano trio I tried to mellow even more the thematical parts and with the touch of elegance from Filippini I got what I wanted. I would also like to emphasize the extraordinary support from Luca Bulgarelli , with whom I have played for many years.

AAJ: So you were inspired by Coltrane and by Thelonious Monk, as evidenced by one of your albums. Which contemporary musicians are you inspired by today?

LT: I am inspired by everything I listen to whilst touring the world and I don't really have any real idols. I find inspiration in everything and everyone who is serious when it comes to playing and writing. I am very attentive to what is happening in U.S.A. I find that they are the ones who dictate the rules when it comes to jazz. I listen to contemporary musicians like Robert Glasper and the lyricism of Brad Mehldau, Mark Turner, Chris Potter, David Binney, and Brian Blade who are musicians that I respect very much and always transmit something to me every time I listen to them.

AAJ: What about your Italian colleagues?

LT: Although Italy is full of young talented people, they deserve more visibility outside of the country but it is only a matter of management and marketing. It is in these things that Italy is still behind. But I must say that there is much talent over here.

AAJ: Could you name a few?

LT: I'll mention a few people that are very young, such as Claudio Filippini a pianist that I wanted to be part of my trio band, whom I believe has a beautiful touch, sensitivity and preparation. Another pianist who is worth noting is Enrico Zanisi. Also drummer Enrico Morello, bassist Luca Alemanno and I should not forget to mention Francesco Cafiso who is also quite popular. These musicians are all younger than thirty years. In addition there are so many older musicians. But this is a rather long list and I wouldn't want to make the mistake of forgetting someone.

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