June 14, 2024


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CD review: Sergio Armaroli – Meeting for Two 2020: Video, CD cover

The collaboration between Sergio Armaroli and the Salento label Dodicilune continues. Monday 2 March, in fact, distributed in Italy and abroad by Ird and in the best online stores by Believe Digital, “Meeting for Two” in which the composer and vibraphone player returns to meet the American pianist Billy Lester.

The disc features nine original tracks, two by Armaroli (“Billy is with Me” and “Meeting for Two”), six by Lester (“G minor Jazz”, “Grasshoper’s Holiday”, “High Line”, “Out Of Gs and As “,” Peachfuzz Parade “and” Peterson L “), one co-signed (” Not Easy – to Love “) and the covers of” Billie’s Bounce “by Charlie Parker and” Darn That Dream “by Jimmy Van Heusen.

Born in Yonkers (New York), where he lives and teaches, Billy Lester is an unrestricted, instinctively lyrical improviser who creates original compositions on the harmonic structures of American classics. Lester as his mentor Sal Mosca, one of Lennie Tristano’s most acclaimed students, developed his art almost privately, a young prodigy who started playing the piano at the age of four, and then graduated from the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. Fascinated by the great composers and musicians (Kern, Gershwin, Rodgers, Hart, Porter, Berlin, Mercer, Arlen, Powell, Tatum, Parker, Christian, Eldridge, Louis Armstrong and Lester Young) he approached jazz at a very young age. After teaching for decades in his hometown, spending a lot of time with his family, over fifty years old, with his grown children, he felt the desire and the need to perform in public, finding it surprisingly rewarding.

Sergio Armaroli is a vibraphonist, percussionist, composer, teacher and total artist, whose activity ranges in various artistic and musical fields. That of jazz is perhaps the most practiced: “I consider jazz as a properly experimental attitude that absolutely needs to be told”. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera and at the G. Verdi Conservatory of Milan. He perfected at the Academy of the A.Toscanini Foundation of Parma and at the Academy of the Teatro Alla Scala in Milan, obtaining the title of orchestra professor. He also attended the Instituto Superior de Arte de L’Habana in Cuba. He played in various classical orchestras, he perfected the marimba and followed drum courses taught by Joey Baron, Han Bennink, Trilok Gurtu and Dom Um Romao. He has several compositions for the theater and has participated in various Italian and European orchestral formations, as well as in a series of recordings of classical and chamber music. In the field of jazz he performs as a vibraphone and percussionist. He is the founder and leader of the Axis Quartet group made up of Nicola Stranieri on drums, Marcello Testa on double bass and Claudio Guida on sax. With the same he published in 2010 Prayer and Request, an interesting work, where improvisation is combined with written scores, the interventions of individuals act in balance with the group, tending to seek a constant balance. The critics have welcomed the album very well, as well as, in a different key, Early Alchemy, a journey into percussive expressiveness as a primitive act of music. “Flavio Caprera (taken from the Dictionary of Italian universal jazz Economica Feltrinelli, Milan , 2014).

01. Billie’s Bounce
02. Billy Is with Me
03. G Minor Jazz
04. Grasshoper’s Holiday
05. High Line
06. Not Easy (To Love)
07. Out of Gs and As
08. Peachfuzz Parade
09. Darn That Dream
10. Person L
11. Meeting for Two

Sergio Armaroli (vib)
Billy Lester (p)

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