i-ItalyNY - 2014-06 - page 53

Ideas
Bookshelf
byEnzoCapua
Jazz was considered macho music for far too long. People believed it
could only be understood, appreciated and played by men. Of course
there were female singers, but they were considered an ornament, an
addition – even if in many cases an essential addition– to the great
tapestry of jazz woven by men. Little did it matter that female singers
were also great musicians, like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah
Vaughan. It didn’t even matter if they were extraordinary players and
composers, like Mary Lou Williams or Carla Bley. Nope, jazz was a
“man’s business.” And that attitude had its roots in jazz’s legendary
“brothel and gangster” origins. Too often these legends were used as
a smokescreen by bars looking to make money off of selling gallons of
booze to male musicians.
It is true that women had a place in jazz only when they were singing,
but the geniuses – and there have been many – shone like diamonds
amongst the many mediocre males. Sadly, for far too long the problem
affected the makeup of jazz audiences, too; few women went to hear
the music, and those who did were merely escorting their boyfriends
or husbands.
In the end it was only a matter of getting deeper into jazz, understand-
ing it, assimilating it. With the passing of time and changing social
norms, women ultimately took center stage. You might even say that
many of jazz’s women have been more creative, more influential and
more trailblazing than the men. That’s what I would call “turning the
page” of music history. Take Maria Schneider, for one. I believe, along
with a lot of other people, that she is the greatest living composer and
arranger in the world. Men included, obviously.
And in Italy? In the past the situation was much the same. Twenty
horrible years of fascism deprived men and women the freedom to
follow jazz.
Degenerate music
, they used to call it.
Things have changed radically – and for the better—even for Italians,
and first-class female jazz musicians now flourish. In NewYork, we are
extremely fortunate to have many intelligent, creative Italian female
jazz composers and interpreters, some of whom I would like to name
here. I apologize in advance to those I could not include, but there was
simply not enough space. Pianists
Patrizia Scascitelli
,
Simona Premazzi
and
Daniela Schaechter
(a
bona fide
Sicilian); saxophonist
Ada Rovatti
;
and Grammy-nominated singer
Roberta Gamberini
, surely our most
internationally-recognized jazz artist. Look ‘emup and give ‘em a listen.
You won’t regret it. These talented women are bringing an originality
and freshness to the language of jazz that we have been waiting for
for a long, long time. The lesser species of macho men, fortunately, is
growing extinct.
ITALIANJAZZ
AMachoMusicNoMore
|
June-July 2014
|
i-
Italyny
|
53
P.OBoxLove: ANovel of
Letters
PaolaCalvetti
St. Martin’s Press
pages
368
$
10.40
Book
In this
wonderful episto-
lary novel, Paola
Calvetti tells the
story of former
high school sweet-
hearts Emma and
Federico. Emma is
a bookshop owner
in Milan and Federico a successful
architect in New York. When the
two meet again 30 years later, Emma
has dreams of romance, but Federi-
co is married and their relationship
seems doomed.
TheMasterofKnots
MassimoCarlotto
Europa Editions
pages
144
$
11.78
BOOK
Ashamed
of telling the po-
lice that he and
his wife were part
of a ring of sexual
adventurers, the
husband of a miss-
ingwoman decides
to turn to “The Al-
ligator” instead, no stranger to the
savage and unsavory underworld.
Together with his two business part-
ners,Max laMemoria and Beniamino
Rossini, he will confront demons
they thought were long buried.
Mondovisione
Ligabue
ZooAperto
$
35.57
music
In Sep-
t emb e r 2 0 0 5 ,
when the Italian
rocker Ligabue
held a concert in
Reggio Emilia to
celebrate his first 15 years of activ-
ity, the audience was about 180,000
— thus setting a European audience
record for the one, non-free event
for a single artist.
Mondovisione
, an-
other hit, is the artist’s 10th album,
featuring 14 new tracks. Ligabue has
translated his clear-eyed vision into
moving music that tells the world
for what it is. This collection is fur-
ther confirmation that he is one of
the greatest rock n’ roll artists of
all time.
TheMythofThe
Superhero
MarcoArnaudo
DCComics
pages
216
$
21.61
Book
A refu-
gee from another
planet, Superman
was sent to the US
by his father as his
father’s final act be-
fore dying. Is his an
immigrant’s story?
Bruce Wayne, tired
of the crime-ridden world, seeks to
make the world a better place by
becoming the morally courageous
Batman.The author analyzes the re-
lationship between superheroes and
religion, between classical epics and
DC comics.
TimeonMyHands
GiorgioVasta
Faber &Faber
pages
320
$
12.04
BOOK
Rome 1978.
A group of eleven-
year-old boys from
Palermo follow the
kidnapping of Aldo
Moro with great in-
terest. To emulate
their heroes (the
kidnappers), the
boys form a gang and give them-
selves code names: Nimbus, Radius,
and Flight. But when news spreads
of Moro’s death, Nimbus loses heart,
unsure how far he is willing to go.
SenzaPaura
Giorgia
Michroponica
$
16.86
music
Giorgia is
one of the greatest
female vocalists in
Italy. With Senza
Paura, distributed
by Sony Music, the
artist fearlessly (as the title would
have it) unveils aspects of herself,
continuously swaying between pop
and soul.
Senza Paura
also sees the
collaboration of famous artists like
Emanuel Lo, Olly Murs, Ivano Fos-
sati and Alicia Keys.
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