For a jazz musician, sound is everything. It represents its identity and is its lifelong research ground. If we think of Coltrane, Monk, Miles, Bill Evans, Lester Young, Ben Webster or any other jazz musician we think of their sound, either individually or that of the groups they captained. In fact, we think of them as sound. Franco D’Andrea ‘s is sound research that starts from afar. The electric experience with Perigee, the exploration of the piano, all the possible timbral combinations of its ensembles, often from the unorthodox arrangement, to the sound of the interval, which yes has a structural, harmonic and melodic function, but ultimately is a sonority, is timbre. In this work with Rocca, D’Andrea plunges into abysmal depths.
Nothing like electronics can investigate sound, breaking it down, synthesizing it, reinventing it. And that is exactly what Rocca does. Added to this is D’Andrea ‘s exploration of the sound of intervals. But what really makes this exploration compelling is that it is alive. Electronics is not the environment, the background, the context in which the piano acts; Rocca sounds like a jazz musician who stimulates and responds to stimuli, and the entire performance is governed by the deepest interplay. “Franco D’Andrea meets Dj Rocca” is a meeting between two absolute protagonists of the Italian music scene, two sonic explorers in search of all possible connections between jazz and electronics. Attracted by an unexpected synergy, Franco D’Andrea and DJ Rocca give birth to a project that unites distant passions, different generations and often distant cultural references, thanks to a unique and shared curiosity towards the infinite languages of music.
“It all originated from a remix,” says Franco D’Andrea, “on a short piano introduction of mine. I thought the work that DJ Rocca did was brilliant. Since then I thought I would like to have him in some of my projects, but I had not yet imagined the easiest thing: meeting him in a musical dialogue for two.” Each concert of this two is a work in itself, there is no set list or reference repertoire, everything is born in the moment: riffs, intervallic sequences, polyrhythms and new timbral combinations are the result of this new encounter.
“Before being a DJ and electronic music enthusiast,” declares DJ Rocca, “I am a lover of jazz music. I attended the conservatory and “cultured” music was always listened to in the family. Franco D’Andrea is for me an artist as I have always tried to be in my own small way: eclectic. The progressive Perigee project was formative at an early age, thanks to my older brother’s listening. Later, in the 1980s, I found Franco again in my Afro hangouts, when he was playing with African musicians. My artistic training then continued with a DJ career, thanks in part to my black music background. It is therefore a natural path today to express myself, with my attitude as an electronic musician, together with contemporary jazz artists of D’Andrea‘s caliber.”
This is not the first time D’Andrea and Rocca have met on stage. The collaboration between the two, in fact, began in 2015, following a contest held by the Radio 2 program Musical Box, in which a track by D’Andrea was remixed by a number of Italian producers. Among the participants was Luca Roccatagliati aka DJ Rocca, whose talent D’Andrea immediately appreciated and decided without delay to name him the winner. Franco D’Andrea and DJ Rocca, with the addition of saxophonist Andrea Ayassot, later formed the trio “Electric Tree,” also recording a self-titled album for Parco della Musica Records. The two later also found themselves together again in Franco D’Andrea‘s octet “Intervals,” also recording two double albums.