Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Café Radio Show with host and producer Ariadne Sawyer and co-host Diego Bastianutti on June 21 , 1-2 PM, PST CFRO , 100.5 FM was honoured to welcome the amazing and talented Amita Sanghvi from Oman to the show. Also, we read the bio and played music from Juan Andres Ospina’s CD , Tramontana (released April 20) He unfortunately was not able to call in.
The show included a good Father’s Day E Poem from Ahmad Al-Khatat. He was born in Baghdad on May 8th. From Iraq, he came to Canada at the age of 10, the same age when he wrote his very first poem back in the year 2000.
Also, we sang Happy Birthday to special volunteer Sharon Rowe in English, Spanish, Brooklynese, Italian and our great tech Victor Schwartzman read another one of her Big Bessie stories.
Photo, entitled Hope by Afghan photographer Neamat Haidari with permission.
Ariadne’s Notes: April 19, from 1-2 pm, we had two talented guests on the World Poetry Café Radio, now celebrating 20 years on the air on CFRO, 100.5 FM. Featured were the amazing drummer,Dan Pugach, from Brooklyn , USA and the incomparable poet and World Poetry Mentor, Chad Norman fro Nova Scotia, Canada. Hosts: Ariadne Sawyer, MA and Dr. Diego Bastianutti , special tech, Victor Swartzman plus volunteer Sharon Rowe .
We want to thank all our guests and radio show members who have helped to keep us on the air by becoming members of our show. A special announcement for our beloved peace in the wonderful collaboration between a peace poet in Kabul, Afghanistan, Mahmood Jan and a wonderful band in Ghana www.opokunananomband.weebly.com Please support them also as they help us bring the world together in Peace and Respect.They heard the peace poet’s poem on the air and are going to be creating a song from his poem and play it on their world tours. What a wonderful way to celebrate our 20 years on the air!
Our Talented Feature , courtesy of Braitwaite and Katz . We had a wonderful interview with Dan including advice for a young drummer and his great CD. To buy the CD go to his website : https://www.danpugach.com
“Dan Pugach Nonet Transforms Proverbial Styles With A Singular Approach and A Secret Weapon On His Unit Records’ Debut, Plus One
“I can’t gush enough about the joyful energy that Dan and his Nonet express in the most open of ways. Dan’s music is thoughtful, exciting and immensely engaging.” – Ingrid Jensen
“Dan’s writing is sharp, concise and so is everybody’s playing. Beautiful album.” – Antonio Sanchez
“His mastery of the music from the subtle inner workings of his horn orchestrations to his command over shaping larger musical statements puts Dan in a league of his own.” – Alan Ferber
Arriving in the US from his native Israel in 2006 to study at Berklee College of Music before earning his Masters at The City College of New York, drummer/composer Dan Pugach played cash-and-carry gigs, traditional ethnic dates, worked coffee shops-anything to keep his drumming and music pure. Eventually teaching himself arranging and orchestration, his complete reimagining of Horace Silver’s “Silver’s Serenade” led instructor (and renowned pianist/composer/educator) Mike Holober to exclaim, “Your arrangement departed from the original song; it wasn’t just an adaptation, but a rearrangement. Dude, you’re going to thrive as an arranger/composer.”
Roughly ten years later, Pugach’s Plus One is the fruit of years of hard work, practice, writing and rewriting, a joyous and thematically diverse recording that expresses Pugach’s vision of a “mini big band.”
“What I like the most about the sound and concept of Dan’s Nonet is that the playing and the writing is selfless,” says five-time Grammy Award winning composer and perennial Pat Metheny Group member, Antonio Sanchez. “It’s all about the music. The writing is on point, sharp, concise and so is everybody’s playing. Beautiful album.”
Gathering some of New York’s finest musicians in his Nonet, Pugach’s Plus One is an exciting ride encompassing a New Orleans second-line strut, expansive arrangements of familiar pop material, and dynamite original compositions performed in classic small ensemble tradition.
“I’m not trying to be too modernist; I want to have a few surprises,” Pugach says. “But they’re hidden. Each tune has a specific vibe I’m staying loyal to. I’m trying to keep everything focused.”
Pugach’s compositions and arrangements mirror his personality as a drummer. Each note flying off his drums, cymbals and percussion is concise, poised and delivered with purpose. A YouTube search yields Pugach’s drumming blowing the lid off various NYC clubs with different ensembles, his collective rhythms a streamlined approach animated (all too briefly) by fiery solos. Similarly, Plus One is music of a stylized, singular principle with moments of absolute burn.
“I believe playing less is more until it comes to my solo-then I explode,” Pugach explains. “And in my music, I don’t want to hear overblown drumming.”
Pugach is aided on Plus One by his plus-one in life, powerhouse singer Nicole Zuratis, whose recent release, Hive Mind, shows her at full force.
“Nicole is my secret weapon,” Dan confides. “Our relationship onstage is part of the conversation. She handles the mic duties; I might come up to speak and she’ll cut me off. The audience laughs. It’s our natural banter.”
Pugach goes from strength to strength on Plus One, the album showcasing his beautifully intricate compositions, peerless arrangements and yes, his drumming, which is funky, on-point and surprisingly restrained for a musician of such skills and gifts. Dan’s arrangements for Nonet recall the classic sounds of Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, Bob Mintzer, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra-expressed in a far smaller ensemble. Deft compositions, challenging arrangements, brilliant players and Dan’s silken rhythmic touch make Plus One a special outing.
The album including moving vocal versions of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” Chick Corea’s “Crystal Silence,” Quincy Jones’ “Love Dance” and Zuratis’ male-ego-impaling rouser, “Our Blues,” Plus One culminates in the two centerpieces: “Coming Here” and “Discourse This.” The former, a circuitous coming-of-age journey with great solos all around, including a dexterous showing by Pugach; the latter, a blustery, sparse Nonet dance that reveals the musicians’ glove-tight interplay and cohesion. Through it all, Pugach’s sizzling drumming drives his Nonet-hard.
The Nonet plays as a single organism throughout Plus One, with plenty of soloing power. The Dan Pugach Nonet, plus one, is comprised of Nicole Zuraitis, voice; Ingrid Jensen, David Smith, trumpets; Mike Fahie, trombone; Jen Hinkle, bass trombone; Andrew Gould, alto saxophone; Jeremy Powell, tenor saxophone, Andrew Gutauskas, baritone saxophone; Carmen Staaf, Jorn Swart, piano; Tamir Shmerling, bass; Bernardo Aguiar, pandeiro; and Pugach, drums.
From his experiences growing up near Tel Aviv to the influences of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band and Bob Mintzer Big Band, Pugach’s compositions and arranging on Plus One are a thrill, including the opening, second-line bruiser, “Brooklyn Blues,” to the closing, full-throated, “Discourse This.” An album of such high-level ensemble playing and standout vocal tracks is exceedingly rare. Plus One is pure and powerful-simply exceptional music.
“People love the warmth and interaction between myself and Nicole and the Nonet,” Dan says. “It’s natural. The audience feels the connection. And connection is what it’s all about.”
Dan Pugach is a Brooklyn-based, two-time ASCAP Jazz Composer Award-winning drummer/arranger. Dan has worked with Ingrid Jensen, Rosa Passos, Airto Moreira, Gregoire Maret, Billy Drews, Jeremy Pelt, Wayne Bergeron, Sloan and Lucy Wainwright, and Dave Stryker, among others. Originally from Israel, Dan served his mandatory three-year military duty as the drummer of the Air-Force Orchestra. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music and his Masters from the City College of New York, where he studied with Hal Crook, Joe Lovano, George Garzone, John Patitucci, Terri-Lyne Carrington and Ari Hoenig.”
On March 29th. 1-2 PM PST, the World Poetry Café Radio Show, CFRO 100.5 FM PST welcomed features:
Jacqueline Maire, World Poetry Lifetime Achievement Winner and author with her poems in English and French.
Co-host Dr. Diego Bastianutti took the hosting lead for Bassist/bandleader Lello Molinari’s new album Italian Job, Lello and Diego discussed the importance of roots with music selections. A fascinating show in English, French, Italian and Spanish. Lello’s section below.
E-poem: By the talented youth Wonder Poet Kezang Dawa from the lovely country of Bhutan.
E-poem by Malik Ahmed originally from Bangladesh.
Thanks to our World Poetry Team of Ariadne Sawyer, MA, producer , co-host Diego Bastianutti and special Volunteer Sharon Rowe.
Feature Bassist/Bandleader Lello Molinari Returns to his Italian Roots, Reimagines Classic Repertoire in Stunning Modern Jazz Settings
Lello’s Italian Job, Volume 2 features Italian and Italian-American musicians transforming folk and popular songs and classical arias from throughout Italy’s rich musical history
“Lello’s Italian Job, Volume 1 is a dynamic showcase for [Molinari’s] instrumental skills… covering an all-star roster of Italian musical icons with passion, respect and imagination.”
– Stacey Zering, No Depression
“Molinari’s music: in your face, a little raw, fiercely alive.” – Thomas Conrad, DownBeat
It’s often been said that “you can’t go home again” – but with his Italian Job project, Lello Molinari proves that old cliché wrong. The acclaimed bassist has not only returned to his Italian roots, but brought with him three decades of experience as a bandleader, an educator, and a virtuosic bassist with his fingers on the pulse of modern jazz. Now he views the unparalleled musical traditions of his homeland through the lens of a lifetime’s worth of accumulated musical knowledge, creating something that’s both Old World and New, deeply personal while reflecting a profound tradition.
Molinari left his native Naples, Italy in 1986 to study jazz at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. In the intervening years he’s gone on to become a revered educator at that same institution, perform as an in-demand bassist on both the jazz and classical music scenes in Boston, tour the U.S. and Europe with his own Quintet, and venture to the leading edges of jazz in partnership with saxophone great George Garzone.
In recent years, however, Molinari began to glance back over his shoulder at the wealth of musical riches to be found in the land of his birth. That adventure began as part of his 2000 album Multiple Personalities, which peppered three Italian tunes into an album that also veered from forward-leaning jazz to a Monk classic, and featured Garzone, guitarist Mick Goodrick, pianist Frank Carlberg and renowned Italian vocalist Chiara Civello. On the 2016 release Lello’s Italian Job, Volume 1, he explored material from across the wide spectrum of Italian song – traditional folk music, classical arias, popular songs – and radically transformed them through his own singular jazz voice. Now, with Lello’s Italian Job, Volume 2, he offers a second collection that marries timeless melodies to contemporary sounds. The CD will be released on Friday, March 9, 2018 via Fata Morgana Music.
“I had a desire to reconnect with my roots,” Molinari says. “But I also wanted to incorporate these new things that I’ve learned over the years here in the States to old material and give it a fresh look and a fresh take.”
As on the first volume, Molinari leads a quartet of stellar artists who share his Italian heritage – and are all members of the Berklee faculty. Drummer Marcello Pellitteri is a fellow immigrant, hailing originally from Sicily, while saxophonist Dino Govoni and guitarist Sal DiFusco are both Italian-American. Their repertoire for Volume 2 varies from a Respighi tone poem to popular Neapolitan songs that have been sung for generations, to original music penned for the project.
With centuries of musical history to delve into, Molinari found that the hardest part of the project has been whittling down his list to just enough repertoire to fill (so far) two volumes. “Rather than picking which songs to do, I really had to think about which ones not to do,” he says. “If you think about Italian music, it’s like saying
‘Jazz’ – there’s so much and it’s so diverse that it’s impossible to put it into one place. Because I play with a number of orchestras, I’ve reconnected recently with classical music and opera. Then there are certain pieces of music that I just adore and that I wanted to do with my group in my way. Others were songs that I grew up with, folk songs that I’ve known since I was a kid. So it was a natural process.”
The insistent tap of Pellitteri’s percussion opens “’O Sarracino,” a popular song by legendary Neapolitan performer Renato Carosone, given a jazz-funk feel by Govoni’s keening soprano, Molinari’s slinky electric bass line, and DiFusco’s strummed groove. “Jazz Tarantella” takes the melody that is the bane of every Italian’s existence – you know the one, it accompanies every Italian stereotype and cartoon that’s ever appeared on screen – and reimagines it as an alluring straightahead jazz tune in the vein of Miles Davis’ “Dear Old Stockholm.” DiFusco’s original “Sulla Strada di Damasco” follows, inspired by the story of the conversion of Saint Paul and incorporating a vaguely Middle Eastern feel.
“Intermezzo Sinfonico,” from Pietro Mascagni’s operatic masterpiece “Cavalleria Rusticana,” is jolted into the present via Govoni’s EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) and Lello’s harmonies on Electric basses, while Pino Daniele’s “’na Tazzulella ‘e Café” makes the unlikely journey from Napoli espresso bar to Bourbon Street coffeehouse in Molinari’s New Orleans-influenced arrangement. Ottorino Respighi’s four-movement tone poem “Pini di Roma” becomes a lush, impressionistic ballad, followed by Luigi Canoro’s famous mazurka “Tra Veglia e Sonno,” which opens familiarly with a mandolin and percussion intro before Govoni’s tenor shifts it firmly into the jazz realm.
“Lidio Napoletano” shows off the improvisational empathy of the trio, built on a short melody in the Lydian mode and created in homage to the treasured Boston band The Fringe, mainstays on the local scene for more than four decades. “Anema e Core,” which has been sung in different languages by everyone from Perry Como to Andrea Boccelli, is a famous Neapolitan song written by Salve D’Esposito in 1950, rendered as a moving duet for bass and guitar. Another song that’s traveled the globe, the famous “Torna a Surriento” has been recorded by everyone from Luciano Pavarotti to Dean Martin to Elvis Presley (as “Surrender”), its heartbreaking melody here pairing Govoni’s EWI with cello played by Meena Murthy. The gorgeous melody of “Tu ‘si ‘na Cosa Grande” is set to a slow, swaying beguine, while Molinari and Pellitteri close the session with an improvised duet, evocatively titled “Neapolitan Snake.”
“I guess as I get more mature,” Molinari concludes, “I don’t need to play ‘punk jazz’ anymore or do music that’s so difficult to listen to. I can enjoy a simple structure, a simple melody – Lello’s Italian Job lets me do both, reinterpreting this old material from a new, contemporary jazz point of view.”
Lello Molinari: Born and raised in Naples, Italy, bassist, bandleader and educator Lello Molinari studied contrabass at the Scuola Civica in Sesto San Giovanni. In 1985 he joined the Italian Vocal Ensemble, performing on radio and television as well as at Italy’s leading jazz festivals. The following year he moved to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music, earning his Bachelors Degree there and his Masters from the New England Conservatory. He’s since joined the Berklee faculty, where he leads an ensemble dedicated to the music of his mentor, Dave Holland, and a new ensemble drawing on Italian repertoire. In the early ‘90s Molinari toured the US and Canada with the acclaimed Either/Orchestra and began a longstanding collaboration with sax great George Garzone. Since 1992 he’s been the principal bassist for the Melrose Symphony Orchestra, with whom he’s recorded several albums. He’s also a member of the Cape Ann Symphony, Hillyer Festival Orchestra, and Salem Philharmonic. Molinari has played with such jazz legends as Kenny Wheeler, George Garzone, Mike Melillo, Jerry Bergonzi and Victor Lewis, leads his own Quintet and co-leads the trio 3Play. Lello’s Italian Job, Volume 2 is his 5th release as a leader.
Source : Braitwaite and Katz with thanks. * Sorry to be so late, was doing a special project.