Interview with Alessandro Fedrigo (September 2018)
Hello Alessandro, welcome to the blog Neuguitars, in the presentation of your latest album “Second Solitary” you have reported the most “accompanying” nature of the bass, but this last work is a solo project, the ideal follow-up of “Solitario” made in 2011. Now your record with nusica.org seems to me almost an artistic marriage, how long have you been collaborating with this independent Italian label?
Actually nusica.org comes from my idea, I’m the founder! Around this idea I tried to involve some passionate friends, some musicians and certainly my “partner” Nicola Fazzini with whom for many years now I share the direction of the association. The first cd was among other things my first “Solitario” of which the latter is the continuation.
With what bass did you play on the record? In the presentation of the record you talk about “acoustic sound without effect”, have you really zeroed the use of pedals and effects?
I have been using for many years a Cort acoustic bass (or rather an acoustic bass guitar), a fretless instrument that I have modified at various times thanks to the work of an excellent luthier (De Santi). Yes, I did not use any effect, except a little reverberation to give an environment to the sound of the instrument. Over the years I have experimented a lot with various effects, but right now I find that they were not of any help for the kind of sound and expression I was looking for. So I reset them. Let’s say that this album was born mainly in the morning, for a few months I got up very early and I wrote and practiced the pieces that I recorded and at that time (6:30) in the silence of the house the acoustic sound was the only one option possible. I hope that something of that intimate and reflective atmosphere has remained in the recording.
Solo bass records are really rare, could you suggest some antecedents? I remember Pastorius with his song “Continuum” …
There are various bassists who have experimented with the bass formula only, that’s when I say bassists I think of double-bass players too, let’s say I’ve listen to Eberhard Weber’s CDs (especially “Pendulum”), then there are the beautiful Dave Holland CDs (I think to “Ones All”) and also the Anders Jormin CD called “Xieyi”. Then, as part of free improvisation, the works of Barre Phillips Joelle Leandre and Barry Guy. Pastorius recorded some pieces (formidable in my opinion “Portrait of Tracy”, too bad that he did not live longer …
Let’s change subject, expanding, what do you think is in your opinion the function of a moment of crisis? I ask you also given the particular political and economic moment we are experiencing …
I don’t know if we are really into a crisis, if we can talk about a moment of crisis, but surely in this moment the necessity of making a change manifests itself. In this sense I see them as precious moments, moments that must be read carefully because the germs that occur give us important indications on the future path to follow. Musically I think this moment is very full of excitement, many musicians are pursuing different paths with interesting results, perhaps there is no charismatic figure that guides the path for many, but personally I find that this is good.
What are your next projects? What are you working on?
Now is the time to plan the new CD of XYQuartet, I am co-leader with Nicola Fazzini in this group, we have recorded three albums that have been very successful. Together with Saverio Tasca and Luca Colussi we have to start thinking about the contents of the new album.
.. a few years ago I read a nice book by Bill Milkowski entitled “Rockers, Jazzbos and Visionaries”. At one point Carlos Santana replied that: “Some people have talent, some people have vision” … after all these years spent playing, always looking for new boundaries and to widen the precedents … what is your vision?
It’s a sentence that I share, the talented musicians are so many, having a musical and artistic vision is something else and regardless of the instrumental or perceptive ability. On the other hand the same story teaches us (Miles Davis was not a trumpet player with such extraordinary instrumental qualities, not to mention Ornette Coleman … just to give some examples). So I share, music and artistic vision should always be in first place, then it is important that each artist make his “attempts” to express themselves with sincerity and courage, will be the listeners and the story that will give the verdict.