Giovanni Guidi Quartet feat. Andy Sheppard
Andy Sheppard ts/ss
Giovanni Guidi p
Joe Rehmer b
Joao Lobo dr
Giovanni Guidi was born in Foligno/Umbria in 1982. His father was one of the first managers in Italy to focus exclusively on jazz music, so Giovanni grew up surrounded by world-class musicians from a young age, giving him important tips for his piano playing. He then played for the first time with Enrico Rava at the Siena Jazz summer workshops.
Of course, Giovanni had known Enrico for years – he worked with his father and spent a lot of time at the family home, but it was at Siena Jazz that Enrico got the idea for a new Under 21 project, which he shared with Giovanni and some other very young musicians founded. That was the start of Guidi’s career.
2011 was the year of the breakthrough for the Italian pianist Giovanni Guidi. His fourth record as a leader, WE DON’T LIVE ANYMORE, was released by CAM JAZZ in February. Guidi is accompanied by some of New York’s best musicians (Michael Blake, Thomas Morgan, Gerald Cleaver) as well as frequent Italian trombonist Gianluca Petrella. After the CD release, the quintet undertook two successful concert tours in Europe under his name.
In spring he appeared as a sideman on Roberto Cecchetto’s „SOFT WIND“ with Giovanni MAIER and Michele RABBIA, released on MY FAVORITE RECORDS, and in mid-September on the highly anticipated ECM release „TRIBE“ by Enrico RAVA with Gianluca PETRELLA, Gabriele EVANGELISTA and Fabrizio SFERRA: the latest incarnation of Rava’s quintet, in which Guidi’s original voice became an important defining feature.
He also continued to work as a sideman in various formations, including trombonist Gianluca Petrella’s „Cosmic Band“ and the new Petrella project „Il Bidone“, dedicated to the music of Nino Rota. The explosive duo Guidi/Petrella received an enthusiastic reception at the Euro Jazz Festival in Mexico City. With Enrico Rava he performs both in a duo and in a quintet, now called Tribe, and in the Enrico Rava PM Jazz Lab (in various projects including the recent “We Want Michael” project dedicated to Michael Jackson).
His groups as leader have included his original quartet with Dan Kinzelman, Stefano Senni and Joao Lobo, the Unknown Rebel Band (featuring a new repertoire of African music) and the new quintet with Shane Endsley (trumpeter from Kneebody), a long-time accompanist Dan Kinzelman and Thomas Morgan and Gerald Cleaver. Guidi will be touring with the new quintet in May 2012 and March 2013.
Guidi’s next project is his trio with Thomas Morgan and Joao Lobo, fresh off recording Guidi’s first record City Of Broken Dreams as leader for ECM. The record will be released in March 2013.
Guidi was named Best Italian Pianist by Insound magazine in 2011, and the year-end poll by Italian magazine Musica Jazz placed him 2nd for Best Pianist, just one point behind the winner. It is clear that at just 27 years old, Guidi is becoming one of the most important voices of the new generation in Italy and abroad.
From 2013 various trio recordings followed under his name at ECM, mostly with Thomas Morgan and Joao Lobo as well as further recordings together in the band of Enrico Rava and Gianluca Petrella.
Founded in 2022, Guidi started the “Ojos de Gato” project.
Ojos de Gato is a 1970s composition by Carla Bley that her ex-husband Paul recorded for his fantastic album Paul Plays Carla. It was dedicated to the Argentine saxophonist Leandro „Gato“ Barbieri, whose career began in Italy and to whom the pianist Giovanni Guidi, born in 1985, pays tribute.
Guidi is less interested in Gato’s successes with the film music for „Last Tango In Paris“ and more in the beginnings in the 1960s when Gato toured Europe with Don Cherry. Guidi’s former band leader and mentor, trumpeter Enrico Rava, played an important role at the time and he too played „Ojos de Gato“ a lot.
Guidi’s fifth record on CamJazz is a furious homage echoing the protests against Latin America’s military dictatorships. The blazing, hoarse tone of Gato sounds appropriately from James Brandon Lewis‘ tenor saxophone, while Guidi’s longtime companion Gianluca Petrella masters the role of trombonist Roswell Rudd with bravura.
Programmatically, the six begin with an outcry: “Revolución”. Free play condenses into collective sounds that dissolve abstractly again. The anthemic gesture of Gato’s music fills „Latino America“ and „Padres“, while in „Ernesto“, one of the most beautiful pieces of the album, Gato’s tango emotion erupts. Enrico Rava attests Giovanni Guidi, who called one of his formations The Rebel Band, a „constructive-subversive“ approach. As if in chapters of a book, the Italian-American sextet, who met at the Samurai Hotel Recording Studio in New York, sheds light on Gato Barbieri’s Sturm und Drang phase. (quoted from Karl Lippegaus.)
Andy Sheppard sax
An ECM recording artist, bandleader and composer, Andy Sheppard is one of Europe’s leading saxophonists and one of a very few British musicians to have made a significant impact on the international jazz scene, playing and writing for settings from solo to big band and chamber orchestra. Sheppard has composed over 350 works that incorporate a strong and characteristic sense of lyricism alongside a very personal use of rhythms from Asia, Africa and South America.
Sheppard took up the saxophone at 19, highly motivated after encountering the music of John Coltrane, and three weeks after getting his first instrument was playing in public with the Bristol-based quartet Sphere. After a period in Paris where he worked with groups including performance art band Urban Sax, he returned to the UK in the mid-80’s recording the album “Andy Sheppard” for Antilles/Island, with Steve Swallow as producer, the beginning of a long musical association that continues to this day. Since then Sheppard has recorded for labels including Blue Note, Verve, Label Bleu and Provocateur.
Sheppard has been invited to compose for large and small ensembles in the areas of jazz and contemporary classical music. His big band writing includes work with the renowned UMO Orchestra (Finland), the Bergen Big Band (Norway) – initially for a joint commission from Cheltenham and Vossa Festivals – Voice of the North and Jambone (UK). Most recently in 2012, Sheppard was commissioned to write a new Big Band Suite for the Bergen Big Band, this brand new work entitled Bump 5250 was performed during the prestigious NattJazz Festival (Norway) in 2013. He wrote music for a collaboration with the classical saxophonist John Harle, and composed View from the Pyramids, a concerto for saxophone and piano for the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, which premiered at the 1998 Salisbury Festival with Joanna MacGregor as piano soloist. Other significant commissions include a solo performance piece for saxophone and electronics from the Maison de la Culture in Amiens which subsequently turned into his Nocturnal Tourist CD; Nothing moved but the wind – a work for the Kintamarni Saxophone Quartet; Strange Episode – a piece for tape oboe and percussion for New Noise; the multi-disciplinary Cityscapes – a collaboration with Joanna McGregor et al for the City of London Festival; Glossolalia – a choral work with saxophone, guitar and percussion soloists commissioned by Bigger Sky and the Norfolk & Norwich Festival with premiere in Norwich Cathedral and new big band and vocal work for the northern youth big band Jambone with youth choir, which premiered at the Gateshead International festival in 2012. Curiously, Sheppard has been commissioned to write music to commemorate two feats of UK engineering.
The first was a collaboration with renowned Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell to celebrate the opening of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. This landmark commission resulted in Music for a New Crossing, written for the Northen Sinfonia, pipes and saxophones, with premiere played live on the spectacular setting of the bridge itself. The second saw Andy commissioned by Brunel 200 to write a piece to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the engineer of the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol. For this work, entitled The Living Bridge, Andy composed a fanfare using prepared electronics incorporating the sounds of the bridge and utilizing the talents of 200 local saxophonists in homage to his early work subsequently formed the basis of Saxophone Massive – a series of large-scale celebratory performances performed in the UK and abroad by saxophone choirs made up of players of all ages and abilities that can be tailored to suit indoor or outdoor performance venues. Saxophone Massive has played all over Europe and as part of the BT River of Music, the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad programme supported by the National Lottery and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, in July 2012 there was a special version of saxophone Massive at Somerset House in London. The Man Who Had All the Luck which ran at the Young Vic; dance (his trio Inclassificable devised the music for the award winning dance piece Modern Living, choreographed by Jonathan Lunn); radio and TV. His TV credits include original music commissioned by BBC’s Omnibus for Ice dances Torvill and Dean; the Oscar nominated Channel 4 film, Syrup directed by Paul Unwin; a documentary series about Peter Sellers
Sheppard has been described as a serial collaborator, playing recording and developing new music with artists as varied as Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, Indian violinist L.Shankar, English folk musician Kathryn Tickell, contemporary classical composer-performers John Harle and Joanna MacGregor, singer songwriter John Martyn, and a myriad of leading jazz figures, including the rare hat-trick of three of the seminal composers in contemporary Jazz – Carla Bley, George Russell and the late Gil Evans.
The first album for ECM with his own project Movements in Colour recorded in 2008 draws upon established and more recent relationships. The saxophonist plays regularly in duos with jazz guitarist John Parricelli and tabla player Kuljit Bhamra, and both are also members of his quartet in Dancing Man & Woman. It was while touring as a guest soloist with Ketil Bjørnstad’s band that Sheppard eventually got to play with Eivind Aarset – “the perfect choice for the sound world that I was after.” UK tours with Bjørnstad also brought Sheppard and Arild Andersen together, and while writing the music for Movements in Colour album, Sheppard reports that he was “hearing melodies on acoustic bass and knew that Arild’s sound and lyricism would make them sing as well as provide essential energy.”
Sheppard’s current performing priority is Andy Sheppard Quartet/Surrounded by Sea, his third ECM album is a strongly atmospheric recording.
Extending the range of his widely-praised Trio Libero (ECM) project in 2012 with Michel Benita and Seb Rochford, Andy Sheppard adds Eivind Aarset (who made significant contributions to 2008’s Movements In Colour) to the band. With Aarset’s ambient drones and electronic textures as a backdrop, Sheppard and co seem to have even more space to explore. The music embraced includes new compositions, open improvisations, an Elvis Costello tune, and the Gaelic traditional ballad “Aoidh, Na Dean Cadal Idir”.
Joe Rehmer (bass) was born in Woodstock IL USA in 1984. He graduated with an undergraduate degree in studio music and jazz from the University of Miami in 2006 followed by a master’s degree in 2008. In 2010 Joe moved to Italy where he currently live and performs regularly with musicians/bands such as Ghost Horse, ARCH, Giovanni Guidi, Dan Kinzelman, Stefano Tamborrino, Filippo Vignato, Francesco Bearzatti, Roberto Cechetto, and Joao Lobo. In recent years he has performed/recorded with artists such as Jim Black, Michael Blake, Enrico Rava, Gianluca Petrella, Maria Schneider, Dave Leibman, Avishai Cohen, Stefano Battaglia, Troy Roberts, Paul Bender….
Joe Rehmer is a founding member of the acclaimed trio Hobby Horse which is a central figure in Italy’s emerging creative music scene.
„…Extremely original and unpredictable, sophisticated and powerfully visceral…one of the most intriguing and unique groups on the Italian scene“ Neri Pollastri, Allaboutjazz. „all-encompassing, ineffable, impossible to fit within the narrow confines of a category“ Mario Grella, Off Topic.
„Hobby Horse… with a performance so engrossing that I forgot to take notes during most of it. The concert fully confirmed their reputation as one of the best live acts in Europe.“ Ludovico Granvassu, Allaboutjazz.
JOAO LOBO – drums
João Lobo is a very active drummer on the European music scene. He has played in some of the most important jazz venues with musicians such as Enrico Rava, Carlos Bica, Alexandra Grimal and Giovanni Guidi and recorded for record labels such as CamJazz and Clean Feed. He started playing drums at the age of 12 and began his formal training at the Hot Clube de Portugal jazz school in Lisbon. In 2001 he moved to the Netherlands where he earned a bachelor’s degree in jazz percussion in 2006 and met many musicians with whom he still works.
Despite his short career, João Lobo has performed with some big names in European and American jazz, including Roswell Rudd, Gianluca Petrella, Julian Arguelles, Nelson Veras, John Hebert and Michael Attias.
Giovanni Guidi Trio
Giovanni Guidi – piano, Thomas Morgan b; Joao Lobo dr
ECM rec. City of Broken Dreams
Giovanni Guidi & Gianluca Petrella Duo
Giovanni Guidi – piano & Gianluca Petrella – trombone