June 24, 2024


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Interview with Luca Aletta: Music is my first and my last thought of the day: Videos, new CD cover

Jazz interview with jazz pianist Luca Aletta. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music. How exactly did your adventure take off? When did you realize that this was a passion you could make a living out of?

Luca Aletta: – When I was 10 years old my grandfather bought me my first keyboard and then I started taking piano and theory lessons in a private school. Then I gave the first exams in the conservatory and in the meantime I began to play in some bands in my city. So I started playing in clubs and making money playing.

JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?

LA: – As I said before, I started with an inexpensive keyboard on which I studied the classical repertoire (Schubert, Chopin, etc.) and from which I tried to get those masterpieces out in the best possible way. So this effort led me to look for an ideal, mental sound, because the sound is built above all in one’s head. Then the hands do the rest…

JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythmand harmony?

LA: – In my case the transcriptions played a fundamental role: I always wanted to transcribe the songs that I liked very much and in those years there was no possibility to find them easily (web, youtube, pdf download, etc.). I remember the first song I recorded, Radiohead’s Karma Police, which I played at a student rally. Transcriptions help you to develop the musical ear, to decipher the various rhythms, the chords, and to understand the structure of the songs well. All this then also leads you to play on records and then the transcription also becomes an act of instrumental technique.

JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?

LA: – I define myself as a musical omnivore: I started with classical music and in the meantime I played rock and pop in bands, then around the age of twenty I fell in love with the “soundtrack” genre and I released two albums of original tracks. Then the encounter with jazz in those years literally struck me and since then I have released 10 albums of original pieces and standards.

JBN: – How do you prepare for your recordings and performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

LA: – I try to arrive “hungry” at the concert or recording. Over time I realized that studying too much before a session or a performance does not lead to anything good, but I prefer to get there rested and on the day of the performance I try to do something else. Music and energy are extremely interrelated.

JBN: – What do you love most about your new album 2022: Luca Aletta & Flavio Emanuele Costantino Burtone – Land Works, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

LA: – I love the “new” in it. The collaboration with guitarist Flavio Burtone has taken me to new “lands” through his influence and to new listening and sounds. This album was born between the school desks, in fact Flavio and me were job colleagues at that time, in addition to being musicians we are also music teachers. I am currently working on a new album of my original compositions for jazz quintet (trumpet, sax, piano, bass, drums) and then I’m finishing writing a didactic book for piano.

New CD – 2022 – Buy from here


JBN: – How did you select the musicians who play on the album?

LA: – The musicians on the album are colleagues and friends with whom I have been collaborating for years. They are a security for me and their musical performance is always a guarantee: I’m talking about Stefano Cardillo on bass and double bass, Alessandro Borgia on drums and Riccardo Gerbino on tabla.

JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

LA: – I think that the balance is 50 and 50: half for the intellect that represents the technical and objective aspect of music that is the instrumental technique, the musical reading of the sheets music, the compositional writing, etc.; the other half is given by the spirituality that a musician puts into his music and is felt above all in his melodies or in his improvisations. The great Joe Zawinul said: “improvisation is not born from books but from a divine inspiration”.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

LA: – The best is when the musician emotion meets audience emotion, but it doesn’t happen always.

JBN: – Can you share any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions over the years?

LA: – I would like to mention 3 events: 1) my participation in 2016 at the Sibiu Jazz Festival, the most prestigious in Romania, in trio with the project “TangOstinato”; 2) the studio recording of my album “Il dodicesimo nano” with the participation of the great Argentine saxophonist Javier Girotto; 3) the thrill of playing live with Nico Gori, one of the most illustrious jazz clarinetists in the world.

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of standard tunes are half a century old?

LA: – It could use more modern grooves, acoustic or even electronic, such as electro swing or more metropolitan sounds such as funky, jungle, or even hip-hop. Making young people dance with the use of these sounds: let’s not forget that jazz was born above all as dance music or as entertainment music. Perhaps we should decrease the dose of intellect and increase that of groove …

JBN: – John Coltrane once said that music was his spirit. How do you perceive the spirit and the meaning of life?

LA: – Music is my first and my last thought of the day.

JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?

LA: – I would give more space to independent music, the self-produced one, made above all with the heart and not with money. I would produce all those artists who make music as an expression of their artistic being and not to sell or to please the public.

JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?

LA: – Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett standards trio.

JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

LA: – I am what I play and I play what I am.

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine: where and why would you really want to go?

LA: – In the 52nd street of New York in the 50s because it was the “beating heart” of jazz music perhaps the most important that will never be repeated again.

JBN: – So far, it’s been me asking you questions, now may I have a question from yourself…

LA: – Why did you decide to interview me?

JBN: – Your new CD: Luca Aletta & Flavio Emanuele Costantino Burtone – Land Works 2022!

JBN: – At the bottom line, what are your expectations from our interview?

LA: – I hope that it arouses the curiosity of readers and that someone maybe discovers my music and that maybe you can get excited listening to it. Thank you Mr Simon!

Interview by Simon Sargsyan


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