“Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny.” (F.Zappa)
The Cultural Association Punta Giara here presents the program of the XXXI edition of the Festival “Ai Confini tra Sardegna e Jazz”. This year’s theme is about the relationship between one of the most important composers of the ‘900, Frank Zappa, and the jazz music.
Talking about Zappa is always quite complicated because of its gigantic production that unites ,without borders, all kinds of musical genres , from rock to dance, from classical to jazz and from the doo-woop to the avant-garde .
Frank Zappa is the perfect result of the mixture between the US and Europe, between European harmony and metropolitan rhythms of African Americans, a new Gershwin in rock sauce. Zappa is new music as new is the land that gave him birth.
Frank was born in 1940 in Baltimore, son of Italian immigrants that gave him the malice of the old continent, and two huge blacks mustache, which also visually characterize his character.
It’s ‘hard to understand which are our paths of life , which are choices and emotions that characterize our decisions in adulthood. To Frank Zappa it seems all clear when he stumble on “Ionisation” opera for 13 percussion by Edgard Varese. The lamp comes on and serves to shed light on the branch of contemporary composers such as Igor Stravinsky and Bela Bartok who have a big part in the musical development of the young Italian-American Zappa.
Zappa was also not insensible even to the popular music of his time, in fact grows with a boundless love for blues and 50 years’s sentimental music that often returns in his compositions.
We cannot consider the work of Zappa wriggled from the “Zappa thought”, because more than any other musician of this century Frank Zappa proved a critical sense and irony aimed at destroying all that is for others rite or empty repetition stigmatized by mannerisms that too often shows lack of content. This is the meaning of the initial quote where he says, with his usual corrosive irony, that jazz is not dead but for too long time it produced copies of itself smelling of mothballs like clothes into old wardrobes.
The project of this edition is to engage jazz musicians who will compare themselves with the Zappa’s idea of music, so they will have to develop the concept of Zappa overtaking Zappa himself, passing by their personal vision and language.
This regard is well over a funeral celebration of the great artist, it is beyond a “heartfelt tribute” which generally tends to crystallize and then to anoint a musical vastness . We need to remove jazz and Zappa from the wardrobe so that its strange smell will vanish forever.
The idea behind the festival is to research all the possible evolutions of the immense capital that Zappa has left us. Every each section of his work is able to provide inspiration to any musician who will develop a new and unique language.
In order to make this project real the Cultural Association Punta Giara brought together some of the most exciting musicians of the whole jazz scene.
“Jazz not only isn’t dead but the scent of freedom will blow gently in the Square of the Nuraghe” (Ass.Cult. Punta Giara)